Company seen as national industry leader for helping diverse businesses grow

PR Newswire

LOS ANGELES, March 8, 2016 /PRNewswire/ – Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) achieved another record year in 2015 with 44.7 percent of its contracting spend with woman, minority, and service-disabled veteran-owned business enterprises. This was the fourth straight year that SoCalGas exceeded the 40 percent mark and over the years, the utility has steadily increased its procurement with diverse suppliers and is seen as a national industry leader.

“We have long known that our supplier diversity activities bring economic benefits to not only our suppliers, but also to the regional economies where they do business,” said Dennis Arriola, president and CEO of SoCalGas. “Supplier diversity is good for our customers, our partners and the communities we serve.”

As a result of SoCalGas’ efforts, spending grew last year with a total of $665 million or 44.7 percent of the company’s total procurement with diverse suppliers. These businesses provide SoCalGas with everything from meters to pipes to information technology to safety equipment.

One example of a diverse supplier that SoCalGas has hired is Jim Cox Photography. The firm’s owner, Jim Cox, learned about the historic legislation in 2014 that expanded the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) supplier diversity program to include Lesbian Gay Transgender Bisexual Business Enterprises (LGBTBE). Cox, who runs his Coachella Valley-based business with his husband Tom Aubrey, received assistance from SoCalGas’ Supplier Diversity group to receive his diverse business certification from the CPUC’s Supplier Clearinghouse.

“We think it’s amazing. We love that California has this law to include LGBTs,” said Cox. “Gay people are a minority and have been discriminated against…it hasn’t been easy. Today, it’s a brand new world. We’re excited about the opportunity to do more work with SoCalGas.”

SoCalGas supports a wide variety of organizations that help diverse businesses succeed including: National Utilities Diversity Council;  Southern California Minority Supplier Development Council;  Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce; Asian Business Association, Latin Business Association; Women’s Business Enterprise Council; Black Business Association and many others.

SoCalGas also offers innovative training programs to large and small businesses including supplier development and technical assistance, access to capital. contractor safety congresses, seminars and other events.

SoCalGas’ commitment to diversity extends beyond its diverse suppliers to its workforce and the communities it serves as well. Last year, SoCalGas donated more than $5.1 million and thousands of volunteer hours to the more than 500 communities it serves, benefitting underserved community groups in African American, Hispanic American, Asian Pacific American, and Native American communities. SoCalGas’ commitment doesn’t stop there. Its diverse workforce of more than 8,400 employees includes 66 percent minorities.

About Southern California Gas Co.
Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) has been delivering clean, safe and reliable natural gas to its customers for more than 145 years. It is the nation’s largest natural gas distribution utility, providing service to 21.6 million consumers connected through 5.9 million meters in more than 500 communities. The company’s service territory encompasses approximately 20,000 square miles throughout central and Southern California, from Visalia to the Mexican border. SoCalGas is a regulated subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego.