Increasing Supplier Diversity
Our supplier diversity program strengthens and widens the playing field for qualified suppliers. Building relationships with diverse suppliers helps us engage a wider range of vendors, often providing unique, specialized services. It helps us harness innovative ideas and processes, gain a competitive advantage and assist in building community infrastructure through employment and training.
NiSource’s supplier diversity program has gained significant momentum. In 2011, we purchased about $60 million in products and services from diverse suppliers, representing a 55 percent increase over 2010 activity.
As part of our supplier diversity program, we are committed to mentoring and developing relationships with diverse suppliers. We also promote awareness and outreach among current and potential suppliers, employees and affinity organizations. We collaborate with public/private advocacy organizations, such as the American Association of Blacks in Energy, Ohio GATE and the Ohio Small Business Administration Matchmaker Program.
In 2012, we plan to extend our support of supplier diversity by participating in more than 20 national and regional events in eight states. By offering diverse suppliers an opportunity to succeed, we affirm our commitment to inclusion and diversity, support our business objectives and benefit our communities.