EEI names four for 2021 Business Diversity Awards

Published on May 19, 2021 by Chris Galford

© Shutterstock

The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) selected four companies for its 2021 Business Diversity Awards this week, based on their efforts to advance purchasing equity for diverse suppliers and results achieved.

“Congratulations to this year’s Business Diversity Award winners for their continued commitment to an inclusive and diverse supplier network,” Tom Kuhn, EEI president, said. “These companies and their suppliers have demonstrated, and continue to showcase, the values of our entire industry. By maintaining a diverse business environment, these companies are leading by example and are creating a better future for the customers and communities they so proudly serve. All are extremely deserving of these prestigious awards.”

Ameren Corporation took home the EEI Excellence Award for its contributions to diverse supplier inclusion, development, growth, partnership, and overall economic impact. The investor-owned electric company pushed for this from the top-down, with active CEO and executive-level involvement in the process and business-wide prioritization of diverse spending goals. It has launched outreach efforts and mentoring programs, collaborated with diverse suppliers, emphasized supplier diversity in planning and execution, stressed accountability, and spent approximately $1.3 billion with diverse suppliers over the last two years.

Next was the Innovation Award, for which the utility Evergy was chosen. It earned it for its innovative approaches to supplier diversity practices and the successes and benefits that went along with them. In this case, that took the form of the Light Source Mentoring Program, which features diverse suppliers paired with Evergy executives for up to three years, makes a curriculum based on their needs, and allows them to gain feedback from mentors. Since it began as a pilot in 2007, 34 suppliers have graduated from the program. Currently, nine are enrolled. The program even inspired two local agencies and another electric company to emulate it.

At the same time, Evergy has increased its diverse supplier options and pushed for its Business Executive Education Program to be offered at Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business. The latter will benefit select diverse businesses. The company spent approximately $253 million with diverse suppliers over the last two years.

Lastly, the Prime Supplier Leadership Award was awarded to power plant contractor Day & Zimmermann Maintenance and Construction, and the Diverse Business Award was awarded to Solutions for Energy Efficient Logistics (SEEL) LLC. Day & Zimmerman spent approximately $32 million on diverse suppliers over the two-year nomination period, while SEEL spent approximately $24 million.

The Prime Supplier Leadership Award was given for efforts made toward diverse supplier utilization and development. The Diverse Business Award is issued for work and support given to fellow diverse suppliers in the supply chain.