SoCalGas Joins the American Association of Blacks in Energy at 47th National Conference in Anaheim

SoCalGas Joins the American Association of Blacks in Energy at 47th National Conference in Anaheim

SoCalGas panelists share updates on the clean energy transition

SoCalGas sponsored the 47th National Conference of the American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE), held April 22-25, 2024, in Anaheim, California—hosted in the state for the first time in 12 years. Over 1,200 attendees from various segments of the energy industry participated in the four-day conference, with SoCalGas leaders participating in a keynote address and panel discussions that explored issues such as the clean energy transition, Renewables and Nuclear Energy, supplier diversity, and information and innovation booths showcased a hydrogen vehicle and virtual reality simulations.

The theme for this year’s AABE National Conference was “Empowered to Move Forward: Let’s Organize and Go Get It!” and showcased energy thought leaders who are diverse in ethnicity, gender, and industry expertise. AABE’s statement on diversity, equity and inclusion emphasizes greater representation of African Americans in employment, leadership, business contracting and workforce development in the energy industry. 

SoCalGas President Maryam Brown’s keynote speech highlighted that through collaboration and relationships, the company can magnify its impact and help empower others. Through collaboration with other energy companies, SoCalGas can help address the ever-changing landscape of the future of clean energy, and through community relationships, the company can positively impact local communities.

“What we do at SoCalGas naturally blends into what AABE is about. We work diligently to ensure that our engagement with industry stakeholders, subject matter experts and technology developers is collaborative and forward thinking. We are supportive of AABE, and this support is only one part of a broader perspective of our clean energy future,” said Jeff Walker, SoCalGas senior vice president and chief systems and technology officer, who currently serves on AABE’s board of directors. 

In 2023, SoCalGas invested $1.04 billion with diverse businesses and an additional $19 million with local nonprofits. In addition, SoCalGas is home to a diverse workforce, as 73% of its approximately 8,500 employees are people of color.

SoCalGas released its annual Supplier Diversity Report in March 2024 and announced that it exceeded the 2023 California Public Utilities Commission’s (CPUC) diverse spending goal, by purchasing 44% of all goods and services from 618 diverse suppliers. Other highlights from the report include $716 million spent with Minority Business Enterprises (MBE), $229 million spent with Women Business Enterprises (WBE) and $74 million spent with Disabled Veteran Business Enterprises (DVBE). 

AABE and SoCalGas have a long history of collaboration since AABE’s founding in 1977. Rufus McKinney co-founded AABE while serving as vice president of national public affairs at SoCalGas.

Other speakers from SoCalGas at AABE’s National Conference included Mitch Mitchell, senior vice president and chief legislative officer, Erin Smith, senior vice president of talent and culture and operations support, Jawaad Malik, chief strategy and sustainability officer, and Lily Otieno, director of supply management. While the speakers focused on different topics, they shared a common theme of collaboration and working together.

SoCalGas information booths highlighted the utility’s diversity, as well as the role of hydrogen in our clean energy future, with the hydrogen-powered Toyota Mirai, demonstrating SoCalGas’ efforts to work to replace half of its over-the-road fleet with clean fuel vehicles by 2025. Also on display was information about SoCalGas’ award winning H2 Innovation Experience ((H2)IE), its ASPIRE2045 sustainability goals and Angeles Link, a proposed clean renewable hydrogen pipeline system that would serve Central and Southern California.

About SoCalGas   

Headquartered in Los Angeles, SoCalGas is the largest gas distribution utility in the United States. SoCalGas aims to deliver affordable, reliable, and increasingly renewable gas service to approximately 21 million consumers across approximately 24,000 square miles of Central and Southern California. We believe gas delivered through our pipelines plays a key role in California's clean energy transition by supporting energy system reliability and resiliency and enabling integration of renewable resources.   

SoCalGas' mission is to build the cleanest, safest and most innovative energy infrastructure company in America. In support of that mission, SoCalGas aspires to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in its operations and delivery of energy by 2045 and to replace 20 percent of its traditional natural gas supply to core customers with renewable natural gas (RNG) by 2030. RNG can be made from waste created by landfills and wastewater treatment plants. SoCalGas is also investing in its gas delivery infrastructure while working to keep bills affordable for customers. SoCalGas is a subsidiary of Sempra (NYSE: SRE), an energy infrastructure company based in San Diego.   

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