During a year when the economy was devastated by the pandemic, San Diego Gas & Electric sustained small and diverse suppliers by buying more than 40% in goods and services from them, according to the company's newly released 2020 supplier diversity annual report.
Overall, SDG&E injected more than $2 billion into the economy last year, the highest level of expenditures on goods and services in the company's 140-year history. The company invested $872 million on small and diverse suppliers, representing 41.6% of the total expenditures – far exceeding the 21.5% goal set by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). Last year also marks the eighth consecutive year SDG&E's supplier diversity spending surpassed 40%.
SDG&E's supplier diversity program has grown, paving the way for many subcontractors to become prime contractors and add jobs to the local economy.
To encourage large local employers to follow suit, SDG&E recently partnered with the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp. (EDC) on a new study that analyzes the impact of increased local procurement on quality job creation, and includes recommendations for large employers to support small businesses by buying local.
Here is a breakdown of SDG&E's 2020 spending by diverse business categories:
- Minority Business Enterprise: $455.4 million or 21.7%
- Women Business Enterprise: $285.9 million or 13.6%
- Service-Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise: $120.5 million or 5.7%
- Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Business Enterprise: $10.4 million or 0.5%
Diverse suppliers support many of SDG&E's key functions including electric engineering and construction, gas operations, clean transportation, sustainability/environmental services, and wildfire mitigation/vegetation management. Early in the pandemic, SDG&E even partnered with a Vista-based whiskey distillery to refocus production on hand sanitizers for its field crews.