Sept. 29, 2011 (San Diego) -- San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) and Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) have entered into an agreement with The Greenlining Institute outlining workforce- and supplier-diversity goals for the next four years.
The agreement will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2012, and replaces an existing agreement between the utilities and The Greenlining Institute that has been in place since 2007. The new agreement calls for SDG&E and SoCalGas to achieve even higher levels of employee and supplier diversity than called for under the existing agreement.
“At SDG&E and SoCalGas, diversity is more than a goal—it’s part of our corporate DNA. We are very proud of the positive impacts we have made on the diverse communities in our service territory, and recognize that we can always raise the bar even higher,” said Lee Schavrien, senior vice president of finance, regulatory and legislative affairs for SDG&E and SoCalGas. “The Greenlining Institute has proven to be an effective partner in helping enhance our outreach to underserved communities and we look forward to further building upon the remarkable diversity achievements we’ve attained in recent years.”
Among the goals agreed upon, SDG&E and SoCalGas will aim to award 32 percent of all supplier contracts to diverse business enterprises. Over the past 11 years, the utilities have increased their spending with diverse suppliers more than six-fold to $615 million from $93 million.
Today, more than half of the workforce at SDG&E and SoCalGas is comprised of minorities—from the front-line field employees to the leadership team. Over the next four years, SDG&E and SoCalGas have committed to continue striving to reflect the Southern California labor market by ethnic classification at every level of the organization.
“Greenlining believes in the expertise and integrity of the SDG&E and SoCalGas leadership teams and the core values that support these goals," said Orson Aguilar, executive director of The Greenlining Institute. He added, "SDG&E and SoCalGas have made it clear that diversity, when done right, positively impacts the bottom line of corporations."
Underscoring the utilities’ efforts to prioritize building a diverse 21st century energy economy, a goal was set to work toward achieving 15 percent of Smart Grid procurement from diverse business enterprises. Additionally, the utilities plan to increase the level of philanthropic giving to underserved communities to reach 67 percent of total giving, and to invest $650,000 annually over the term of the agreement in technical assistance and business development programs targeting diverse business enterprises.