In 1984, CenterPoint Energy issued a policy of "Maximum Practicable Opportunity" for promotion of business with diverse business enterprises and began computerized tracking of purchasing volume with them. CenterPoint Energy thus began its Supplier Diversity program. Through outreach, mentoring and internal corporate education, the company nurtured its program, in strong collaboration with the Houston Minority Business Council and Houston Women's Business Council.
CenterPoint Energy first created its Supplier Diversity Advisory Council in 1991. Since then, management and employees together have worked hard to evolve supplier diversity into a strategic business initiative. In 1996, David McClanahan, now President and Chief Executive Officer of CenterPoint Energy, assumed executive sponsorship and accelerated the pace of the program. CenterPoint Energy's corporate-wide Supplier Diversity Policy Statement was signed early in the year 2000.
In the words of David McClanahan, CenterPoint Energy Supplier Diversity Advisory Council executive sponsor: "As senior leader of the organization, I have a total commitment to making our company successful, and these diversity programs are a core business objective. I believe success in diversity issues is critical to achieving our overall business objectives. I have high expectations of our management team and all our employees. I'm confident that when we as a team understand the importance of diversity in helping us meet our business objectives, we will be successful in developing a culture that capitalizes on the tremendous asset that diversity can be."