A Letter from DiCE (Diversity in Clean Energy) - Smart Energy Decisions

Energy Efficiency, Sourcing Renewables  -  June 22, 2022 - By Amy Bond (T-Mobile) and Cheryl Comer (Duke Energy)

A Letter from Diversity in Clean Energy (DiCE)

To the Clean Energy Industry:

Diversity in Clean Energy (“DiCE”), is an action-based coalition convened by Duke Energy working collaboratively with T-Mobile, Kroger, Microsoft, and three diverse-owned businesses operating within the clean energy ecosystem.  Our visionary outcome is to advocate, utilize, and open doors of opportunity for diverse-owned businesses that operate within the clean energy value chain through our collaborative efforts and collective influence.  The goal of DiCE is to drive inclusive and equitable practices in the sourcing and supplier selections across the clean energy value chain.

As the world transitions from fossil fuels to cleaner energy systems, being cognizant of the status quo is imperative. As cited in the recent report “Help Wanted: Diversity in Clean Energy” sponsored by E2 and other equity-based energy organizations, the US Clean Energy Workforce is disproportionately marginalized relative to the overall US Labor Workforce in several categories. DiCE is actively doing its part to walk the walk into a cleaner, greener, and more inclusive energy future. 

DiCE seeks to debunk myths associated with diverse-owned businesses in clean energy - myths such as they are more expensive than their non-diverse counterparts, they lack skills and competency, they are not capable of accommodating corporate and utility needs, and they are not available on a national scale.  Phase one of our website was launched last year. But the capstone of DiCE’s work will be creating a web-based ESG tool to support net zero goals in a competitive marketplace platform. This platform, scheduled to launch at the end of 3Q2022, will be a national repository for Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers of clean energy and its infrastructure.  DiCE seeks diverse suppliers and developers as well as consultants, financiers, and lawyers.

The competitive marketplace platform will disprove myths and assumptions. It will enhance diverse-owned businesses’ ability to market themselves and be accessible to corporations and utilities. Buyers will be able to access the platform and see videos and testimonials of diverse-owned businesses.  Safety certification badges and other designations will be visibly associated with diverse-owned businesses’ profiles on the platform.  If a diverse-owned business has worked with a DiCE corporation, the corporation will issue a virtual badge that the diverse-owned business can associate with its profile.   This will aid in publicizing the true and unique values and capabilities of diverse-owned businesses in the clean energy sector.  

In addition, the platform will facilitate diverse-owned businesses' scalability. The platform will accelerate minority business enterprise partnerships and collaboration which may allow them to join forces to augment services and capabilities. This internal networking can enhance competitiveness and MBE's ability to respond to utility and corporate RFPs.  

DiCE envisions the platform will unify, into one comprehensive platform, all the fragmented efforts and sources with the intent to coalesce the clean energy space for diverse suppliers.  On our DiCE journey, we have had the opportunity to meet with several organizations who are all pulling in the same direction – towards a more equitable, fair, and just transition through the inclusion of diverse-owned businesses into mainstream contracting for clean energy. Imagine if we combined all these efforts and utilized the competitive marketplace platform as the system of record.  Uniting mind share, resources, and influences to ensure a just transition to the clean energy future.  DiCE would like to publicly thank its community partners who have a sincere desire for equity in clean energy and are working to promote fair and equitable procurement practices in this sector: Smart Energy Decisions, and Edison Energy.  We also welcome Hannah Badrei, Edison Energy, to DiCE’s Advisory Board.

We continue to seek community partners and events to support and amplify the DiCE initiative.  If you know of diverse-owned businesses in the clean energy sector, please direct them to our website or email [email protected].

DiCE is pleased to announce that Girard Newkirk from Genesis Block is the diverse vendor selected to build the competitive platform.  For the past two years, Genesis Block has established itself by helping local small business owners grow their companies and creating an inclusive gathering place for business and community leaders. Genesis Block is transforming from a local startup on a mission to build the entrepreneur class into an intelligent business network powered by technology and innovation to fuel growth. The company has launched Genesis Bridge technology. Genesis Bridge streamlines the procurement process for large organizations and gives diverse, small businesses access to greater opportunities. The Genesis Bridge platform will provide the technological solutions, insights and trusted collaborative network to fuel the growth of the diverse economy. “The vision of Genesis Bridge is to merge collaborative networks of diverse-owned businesses, corporations, governments, professionals, and other institutions into an intelligent business network that expands and streamlines business transaction opportunities for all stakeholders,” says CEO Girard Newkirk.

We look forward to your support of DiCE and leave you with this profound question, which propels the DiCE initiative: what are you doing, within your sphere of influence, to bring about a more equitable, fair, and just transition? 

Warmly,
Amy Bond and Cheryl Comer
DiCE Advisory Board

For more information, visit the DiCE website.

Smart Energy Decisions is proud to be a DiCE Community Partner.

Amy Bond, Energy and Sustainability Program Manager, T-Mobile, is an expert in power and utilities procurement, building energy optimization schemes, corporate goal positioning, carbon disclosure leadership, and holistic clean energy strategies, including securing one of T-Mobile’s largest Virtual Power Purchase Agreements. You can learn more about that clean energy initiative by visiting Duke Energy Renewables’ “Today’s Leaders, Tomorrow’s Heroes” web series. She earned her LEED accreditation in 2010, has contributed to four successful certifications, and in 2014 garnered the US EPA Waste Wise Partner of the Year for very large companies in recognition of her industry-leading waste diversion program. 

Cheryl Comer is a Senior Strategic Account Manager within the Sales and Relationship Management organization at Duke Energy. She is responsible for developing and sustaining long-term strategic customer relationships for mutual growth, profitability, trust, loyalty and risk management. Her assigned strategic accounts are FedEx, Kroger, Microsoft and T-Mobile. Cheryl brings a wealth of experience from the education and legal industries. In addition to teaching middle school and high school student’s music theory, solfeggio, string, symphony orchestra and music history, she served as a high school principal of an alternative school in Phoenix, Arizona. She managed a school of 350 students and 30 staff members. During her tenure as principal, she learned to effectively balance considerations from competing stakeholders such as state mandates, instructional and support staff, parents, students, and community. Under her leadership graduation and attendance rates drastically improved and student achievement increased. 

 

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