LOS ANGELES, March 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) achieved a record year in 2011 for contracting with diverse business enterprises (DBEs) with more than $300 million going to minority businesses. SoCalGas' supplier diversity activities, which started more than 30 years ago, have evolved not only into a key business strategy but also a core company value. DBE companies fall into three categories: Minority Business Enterprises (MBE), Women Business Enterprises (WBE) and Service-Disabled Veteran Business Enterprises (SDVBE).
"I'm proud to say the company has made significant progress implementing programs targeting DBE outreach, collaborated with business and community-based organizations to identify DBEs, and helped diverse firms develop skills so they can build capacity to take on larger contracts," said Michael Allman, president and CEO of SoCalGas. "A candid discussion with a group of community members made us realize that despite our success, there were still obstacles that prevented more DBE's from working with the company. To remove these barriers, we launched our Smaller Contractor Opportunity Realization Effort, or SCORE program, which is a multi-team approach to expand the pool of smaller diverse businesses in our supplier base," added Allman.
As a result of SCORE and other efforts, 2011 was a record year at SoCalGas:
Spending more than $307 million in purchases with diverse firms, representing 38 percent of total purchases.
Exceeding the company's internal target of 30 percent for the fourth consecutive year and surpassing the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) goal of 21.5 percent for the 19th straight year.
Growing SoCalGas' purchases with WBE's to an all-time high of $48.8 million.
"Our introduction to SoCalGas through SCORE allowed us the opportunity to bid on a larger contract, and as a result, we increased our sales by 20 percent in 2011," said Kevin Ramsey, owner of Alameda Construction. Through SCORE's Small Business Boot Camp, Ramsey received tips and information on how to do business with SoCalGas, the fundamentals of getting contracts, and other information.
Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) has been delivering clean, safe and reliable natural gas to its customers for 145 years. It is the nation's largest natural gas distribution utility, providing service to 20.9 million consumers connected through nearly 5.8 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).