CHICAGO, April 18- Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas recorded an all-time high in spending with minority-, women- and veteran-owned businesses in 2017. Of the record $125.5 million spent with diverse businesses, $109.5 million, or 87.2 percent, was spent with Illinois-based firms, according to a report filed with the Illinois Commerce Commission this week.
The Peoples Gas System Modernization Program was the driving force behind the increased supplier diversity opportunities in 2017. Spending with diverse suppliers accounted for approximately $100 million of the money spent in 2017 to modernize the natural gas delivery system in Chicago.
“Our accomplishments were the result of the execution of a deliberate strategic plan that was implemented three years ago to build a solid foundation for our program and for the diverse businesses in the communities we serve,” said Charles Matthews, president and CEO, Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas.
Other highlights from the report:
- For the fifth consecutive year, spending with minority-owned businesses increased.
- For the fifth consecutive year, spending and the number of veteran-owned suppliers increased.
- Spending with women-owned businesses increased 69 percent.
- Spending with minority-woman-owned businesses more than doubled compared to 2016.
The companies contracted work with 192 diverse suppliers in 2017. These businesses represented a wide variety of categories such as analysis and testing, building services, construction, freight services, natural gas distribution, human resources and restoration