The Supplier Diversity Program of Con Edison of New York and Orange and Rockland Utilities created opportunities for minority- and women-owned businesses to contribute to operational excellence and add value within the communities we serve. The utilities bought more than $272 million in goods and services from minority- and women-owned businesses. Including fuel, expenditures with minority- and women-owned businesses totaled more than $288 million.
Total Supplier Diversity expenditures decreased 11 percent from the prior year. This was primarily due to disruptions within our diverse vendor pool, such as vendors who lost their minority- or women-owned business status due to acquisitions or who declared bankruptcy. We made progress, however, in three important areas: construction, professional services, and fuel. Expenditures for construction-related contracts increased 13 percent, expenditures for professional services increased 21 percent, and expenditures for fuel more than doubled.
Some notable successes in 2013 were:
- $7.8 million in contracts to a minority-owned business for roofing work and installation of conduit, fencing, and steel pipes
- $6 million contract to a woman-owned business for payroll services
- $3.9 million contract to a minority-owned business for non-stock fastener supplies
- $2.9 million contract to a minority-owned business for sidewalk restoration
- $1.5 million in contracts to a minority-owned business for various construction projects
- $1.1 million contract to a woman-owned business for below-grade civil work
Pension Fund Managers
Con Edison doubled our expenditures with outside minority-owned investment managers who invest our pension funds. At the close of 2013, minority-owned investment firms were managing nearly $1 billion in pension funds. Two minority-owned fund managers handled $617 million for the U.S. small-cap and $351 million for the U.S. large-cap equity funds for the pension fund.
In 2013, we placed a portion of our corporate insurance program through two minority-owned brokers. One broker has handled our business travel/employee crime insurance for close to three decades. Another minority-owned insurance brokerage firm placed liability and property insurance required in our lease at 30 Flatbush Avenue, and special railroad liability policies required by railroads when working on or close to railroad property.
Developing Diverse Suppliers
To recruit and develop opportunities for minority- and women-owned businesses that can help the company reduce costs and enhance safety, reliability, and sustainability, we participated in initiatives such as the National Minority Supplier Development Council’s Corporate Plus Program. In 2013, we added 29 new vendors who are either minority- or women-owned businesses – a 45 percent increase in the number of new vendors from the year before.
We gained one of our new contractors as a result of our continued participation in the New York City Department of Small Business Services’ Corporate Alliance Program (CAP) Columbia University Construction Mentorship Program. The CAP program provides capacity-building assistance to emerging minority- and women-owned businesses. We also support our minority- and women-owned businesses through the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program at LaGuardia College and the Procurement Technical Assistance Center.
In support of our company’s commitment to energy efficiency, we cohosted the New York and New Jersey Minority Supplier Development Council’s 2013 Sustainability Summit. We partnered with the Association of Energy Affordability to offer training on energy-efficiency opportunities, and hosted several forums to exhibit new energy-efficiency solutions that are being developed or marketed by minority- and women-owned businesses.
To support Con Edison’s efforts to lead the nation in smart-grid systems, the Supplier Diversity team recruited minority- and women-owned businesses that provide technology solutions to be part of the Smart Grid Implementation Group’s successful Capstone Demonstration project for the U.S. Department of Energy. The technology our minority- and women-owned businesses provided will enable Con Edison to securely integrate distributed energy resource management for mobile generators.
The Supplier Diversity team also hosted, sponsored, or attended several events to network with minority- and women-owned businesses, including: the Regional Alliance Clearinghouse Matchmaker Conference; the South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation’s 16th Annual Small Business Procurement Workshop and Expo; the New York and New Jersey Minority Supplier Development Council Business Expo; the Edison Electric Institute National Supplier Diversity Conference; the Rockland Economic Development Corporation’s Procurement Technical Assistance Center Program; the Asian Women in Business Procurement Conference; and the Association of Minority Enterprises of New York Annual Business Legislative Conference in Albany.
In recognition of our work, the Supplier Diversity Program received the following awards in 2013:
- United States Hispanic Advocacy Association Supplier Diversity Award, which was recognized at a NASDAQ closing-bell ceremony
- New York State Association of Minority Contractors Advocate of the Year Award
- New York and New Jersey Minority Supplier Development Council Regional Corporation of the Year Award
- Women Presidents’ Educational Organization Corporate Partners Award
- New Jersey Board of Public Utilities Supplier Diversity Development Council Champion Award