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EEI Announces Winners of 2022 Business Diversity Awards
EEI Announces Winners of 2022 Business Diversity Awards
LOS ANGELES (May 19, 2022) — The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) today announced the winners of its annual Business Diversity Awards. The awards were judged by an esteemed panel of energy industry professionals and recognize companies for their outstanding efforts to advance purchasing opportunities for diverse suppliers, including minority-, women-, veteran-, and LGBTQ-owned businesses, within the investor-owned electric power industry. The winners were selected over a two-year period.
Southern Company has earned the Excellence Award. The Excellence Award recognizes stellar contributions in diverse supplier inclusion, development, growth, partnership, and economic impact. Southern Company’s accomplishments include active CEO and executive-level involvement; embedded supplier diversity strategy teams across the enterprise; diverse supplier mentoring and training focused on supply chain equity, social justice, and cybersecurity; participation in the City of Birmingham’s Valuing Inclusion to Accelerate and Lift (VITAL) program, which is designed to grow spending with minority- and women-owned suppliers; and the Move to Equity Framework, which includes a diverse suppliers investment fund benefitting diverse communities and historically Black colleges and universities.
Southern Company’s prime suppliers have a 20 percent diverse spend target and monthly reporting requirements. Prime suppliers also are expected to participate in the Economic Impact Advocacy Program, a multi-tiered mentoring program for large capital projects. Furthermore, Southern Company has designed and executed diverse supplier symposiums and mentoring programs, and the company has provided scholarships and partnered with a local university to support diverse suppliers in the GrowSmart Initiative. Over the two-year nomination period, Southern Company’s annual spend with diverse suppliers increased from $1.4 billion in 2020 to $1.9 billion in 2021. Prime suppliers reported diverse spend over the two-year period was approximately $570 million.
Entergy has earned the Innovation Award. The Innovation Award recognizes the implementation and execution of innovation in supplier diversity practices, as well as proven successes and benefits for diverse suppliers and for the company. Entergy is being honored in part for its Second-Tier Initiative, which provides for diversity milestone payments to prime suppliers that report on a timely basis and achieve their diversity targets. Prime suppliers also are expected to implement and manage Tier 2 reporting improvement plans as required. Recently, Entergy began hosting engagement sessions for the diverse and prime supplier communities as early as four years in advance of a major project. Early benefits include relationship building with prime suppliers; a clear understanding of safety and sustainability requirements; and insights into the types and timing of scopes to be bid. Among other activities, Entergy expanded supplier diversity metrics to include forward-looking indicators such as bid inclusion and award rate. Entergy’s first-ever Premier Vendor Awards program, held this April, recognized outstanding vendor performance in six important categories that included safety, local and diverse initiatives, continuous improvement, and sustainability.
Entergy spent $1.3 billion with diverse firms in 2021, more than double the amount the company had spent in 2018, and the amount spent by its prime suppliers with diverse suppliers in 2020 and 2021 totaled $578 million.
Franklin Energy has earned the Prime Supplier Leadership Award. The Prime Supplier Leadership Award is presented to an EEI member company prime supplier that has made impressive strides in diverse supplier utilization and development. Franklin Energy, which delivers energy efficiency programs for more than 60 electric companies and government partners across the United States and Canada, has a comprehensive approach to supplier diversity. Noteworthy features include active CEO and executive level involvement; documented policies and procedures; a dedicated diversity professional; tracking and reporting capability; outreach; best practices; and continuous improvement methods, such as intentional review of contracts for additional opportunities for diverse supplier inclusion.
Furthermore, Franklin Energy designed and implemented an impressive Impact Café podcast series in 2021 that features its CEO and other executives. The podcast has featured several diverse business owners and leaders in the energy industry. Franklin Energy also uses its Water Cooler newsletter to feature diverse suppliers. Franklin Energy’s 2021 spend with diverse suppliers exceeded $5.1 million and represents 19.4 percent of the total sourceable spending. This was an increase of 3.4 percent over 2020 achievements.
KDM Engineering has earned the Diverse Business Award. The Diverse Business Award is presented to a diverse supplier that does superior work and supports fellow diverse suppliers in its supply chain. KDM Engineering’s diversity and inclusion is supported by their contracts and the diversity in its workplace, where 32 percent of its employees are women. Other key contributions include its ability to build long-standing strategic partnering relationships that are mutually beneficial for KDM Engineering and for prime suppliers. KDM Engineering demonstrates a strong commitment to changing the face of engineering by increasing awareness in STEM fields for women and minorities through targeted programming. Through the work of its Calculated Genius foundation, which is dedicated to helping underrepresented youth explore and connect to engineering, KDM Engineering is focusing on giving back to the local community by using funds to support a summer STEM and entrepreneurship program for high school students. Its Calculated Genius foundation also is providing scholarships to women pursuing STEM-related degrees.
"This year’s Business Diversity Award winners have exceptionally demonstrated their commitments to providing an inclusive and diverse supplier network," said EEI President Tom Kuhn. "By continuing to be leaders, these companies are creating a better future for all and are showcasing the talents of the many suppliers that directly impact the electric power industry and the communities in which we live and serve. Each is deserving of their recognition, and I congratulate them for receiving these awards."