In the past 10 year diverse supplier spend reaches $6.4 billion.
Chicago (HINA Wire)– ComEd spent $893 million with businesses owned by women, people of color and veterans in 2021, or 42% of its total supply chain spend, bringing its diverse supplier spend since 2012 to $6.4 billion.
Maintaining its focus on investing locally, ComEd spent $641 million, or more than 71% of its total diverse spend last year, with Illinois-based suppliers, as detailed in the company’s annual report to the Illinois Commerce Commission, which regulates the state’s public utilities.
“Hundreds of diverse suppliers play critical roles on our power grid and throughout our company, and the transition to clean energy will create even more opportunities for them to grow and make a positive impact within their communities,” said Gil Quiniones, CEO, ComEd. “Investing in businesses owned by people of color, women and veterans is one of our greatest opportunities to build equity throughout our service territory.”
ComEd partners with 662 diversity-certified suppliers, including 153 added last year, and they work throughout the company in utility construction, engineering, and materials, among others. A growing sector for diverse suppliers is energy efficiency, which is expected to accelerate as a result of the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act, which increases funding for expanded offerings with an emphasis on income eligible customers.
To take full advantage of the opportunity, ComEd is partnering with diverse supplier Walker-Miller Energy Services, an energy efficiency specialist, led by CEO Carla Walker-Miller. It will focus on supplier and customer engagement.
“Because building energy efficiency is key to helping fight climate change and facilitating the necessary decarbonization of our country, the growth opportunities in energy efficiency are endless,” said Walker-Miller, who has 30 years of energy industry experience.
“ComEd’s energy efficiency team is empowered and expected to identify, engage and develop diverse suppliers, and it has empowered us to do the same,” said Walker-Miller. “We are also helping ComEd reach economically distressed communities to reduce customers’ energy and water consumption.”
ComEd’s report profiles Milhouse, Inc., a Chicago-based African American-owned engineering and construction company led by CEO Wilbur Milhouse. It plays a key role in ComEd’s Voltage Optimization program, which enables ComEd to deliver power with enhanced precision, helping customers to reduce their energy consumption by up to 2 percent annually.
The report also highlights ComEd’s work in the growing data center sector where it’s creating opportunities for diversity-certified suppliers, such as Environmental Design International, a woman-owned company specializing in environmental consulting and civil engineering; McKissack & McKissack, the oldest minority-owned architecture and construction company in the United States; and Meade Electric, a leader in diversity advocacy with hundreds of active diversity-certified supplier relationships.
Illinois utility companies’ diverse supplier spend contributed $11.8 billion to the Illinois GDP from 2017-2020, with $4 billion in purchases from Illinois-based diverse businesses, according to the Illinois Utilities Business Diversity Council (IUBDC), which was formed in 2015 to help utilities establish and share best practices for diverse supplier participation and development. Members include Ameren Illinois, Aqua, ComEd, Illinois American Water, Nicor Gas, North Shore Gas, and Peoples Gas.
ComEd’s 2021 Supplier Diversity report: https://www.comed.com/SiteCollectionDocuments/AboutUs/338828.pdf