NAPERVILLE, IL – May 17, 2023 – Nicor Gas spent $377 million with minority-, women- and veteran-owned businesses in 2022, according to the company’s Supplier Diversity Report. More than 44% of the company’s total expenditures in 2022 were with diverse businesses and over half of that spend was with Illinois-based companies.
“Supporting the diverse business community is a strategic business imperative for Nicor Gas,” said Wendell Dallas, president and CEO of Nicor Gas. “We make an intentional effort to open doors for diverse businesses across all areas of our business and provide education and mentoring opportunities, knowing the positive social and economic impact this engagement will have on our communities.”
Since 2015, between 800 and 1,500 employees and contractors per year have worked on Investing in Illinois projects to replace aging natural gas pipelines, move natural gas meters from inside homes and businesses to outside, upgrade natural gas storage systems and refurbish stations that regulate the natural gas pressure in the system. During that time, more than $135 million has been spent with diverse businesses, which is 41% of the company’s Investing in Illinois spend.
“Through these multi-year programs, we are making investments in the continued safety and reliability of our system, the regional economy and providing opportunities to drive diverse business participation throughout our company,” Dallas said.
Companies that utilize diverse suppliers help foster jobs and stimulate economic development, including in underrepresented segments of communities. Inclusive procurement practices provide opportunities for minority-, women- and veteran-owned businesses, as well as members of the LGBTQ+ community by increasing representation and creating job and economic advancement opportunities.
Since 2018, Nicor Gas has spent $2 billion with diverse businesses. The company continues to help provide networking and mentorship opportunities to diverse businesses through the Supplier Diversity Business Development Program and in 2022, participated in more than 30 advocacy and educational events.
Nicor Gas is a member of the Illinois Utilities Business Diversity Council (IUBDC), a consortium of the state’s largest utility providers dedicated to advancing the growth and utilization of diverse businesses in the state of Illinois.
According to a report from the Illinois Commerce Commission’s Office of Diversity and Community Affairs, diverse spending by the state’s largest investor-owned utilities – including Nicor Gas – has steadily grown from an average of 15% to over 30% of all procurement spending over the past six years.
Nicor Gas is committed to identifying and working with suppliers that operate in an ethical manner and add value to our business. To learn more about supplier diversity at Nicor Gas, visit: https://www.nicorgas.com/company/economic-development/supplier-diversity.html
About Nicor Gas
Nicor Gas is one of four natural gas distribution companies of Southern Company Gas, a wholly owned subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO). Nicor Gas serves more than 2.3 million customers in a service territory that encompasses most of the northern third of Illinois, excluding the city of Chicago. For more information, visit nicorgas.com.
About Southern Company Gas
Southern Company Gas is a wholly owned subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE:SO), America’s premier energy company. Southern Company Gas serves approximately 4.3 million natural gas customers through its regulated distribution companies in four states with approximately 600,000 retail customers through its companies that market natural gas. Other businesses include investments in interstate pipelines and ownership and operation of natural gas storage facilities. For more information, visit southerncompanygas.com.