CHICAGO — Work by Peoples Gas to expand economic opportunity to more businesses owned by minorities has earned the utility a prestigious award. The Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council named Peoples Gas its 2023 Corporation of the Year. The honor is awarded each year to a company that demonstrates extraordinary commitment to expanding business partnerships with minority contractors.

Peoples Gas has a Supplier Diversity Initiative that has led to millions of dollars in work every month for businesses that have diverse ownership. Its sister company, North Shore Gas, is sharing the award. Data from the two companies includes:

  • $15.7 million spent with diverse businesses in just the first two months of this year.
  • Over the past five years, an average spend of $140 million per year with diverse suppliers.
  • Of last year’s spend, 67% was with contractors based in Illinois.

Diverse suppliers also are a major driver of the crucially important work to modernize Chicago’s network of pipes that deliver energy for heat. In 2022, diverse suppliers performed $58 million of work to help replace corroding iron pipes that date as far back as the 1800s.

“Offering opportunities for diverse suppliers is a core value of ours and one of our top priorities,” said Torrence Hinton, president — Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas. “It’s one the most effective ways we can help build a stronger Chicago, while creating more economic opportunity for all. We want the people and companies we work with to reflect the communities we serve.”

The Corporation of the Year award was presented to them at the Chicago Business Opportunity Fair, which is happening this week at the Chicago Marriott on the Magnificent Mile. This is the second time Peoples Gas has earned the recognition.