After Minneapolis police officers killed George Floyd on May 25, 2020, protests on police brutality and racial discrimination broke out across the world. Since May 30, we’ve seen 21 utilities across the US and Canada issue public statements of support for the Black Lives Matter movement (figure 1):

Figure 1: How two utilities responded to the Black Lives Matter movement

DTE and Enbridge were two of the first utilities to make public statements. DTE’s statement comes from CEO Jerry Norcia. And Enbridge’s statement focuses on the company’s values

DTE Energy

Enbridge Gas

Utilities’ Black Lives Matter posts have seen positive engagement across all channels from utility employees and customers—as seen in comments and expressed via positive reactions on Instagram and Facebook (such as likes and loves).

Of the 21 utilities that made public statements, 9 posted for Blackout Tuesday on June 2. From May 31 to June 6, utilities saw a 0.59% engagement rate for #BlackoutTuesday posts, their highest engagement rate on hashtag posts for the week (figure 2). Engagement rate is the total interactions (likes, comments, shares) on a post per follower expressed as a percentage.

Figure 2: Engagement rates on utilities’ hashtag posts from May 31 to June 6, 2020

#BlackoutTuesday posts had the highest engagement rate for the week, surpassing other hashtag posts such as #NationalSafetyMonth, #BlackLivesMatter, and #COVID19. Note that these engagement rates are specific to utilities’ social media posts from May 31 to June 6, 2020.
Hashtag Engagement rate (%)*
Notes: Engagement rate is the total interactions (likes, comments, shares) on a post per follower expressed as a percentage. The engagement rates we feature are specific to utilities’ social media posts from May 31 to June 6, 2020. © E Source; data from Rival IQ
#BlackoutTuesday 0.59
#NationalSafetyMonth 0.44
#BlackLivesMatter 0.39
#PoweringThruTogether 0.33
#COVID19 0.11

E Source is committed to racial equity

Like our utility customers, E Source supports Black Lives Matter and the broader movement for inclusion, diversity, equity, and access. Here’s what E Source CEO Wayne Greenberg has to say:

E Source isn’t an activist organization. Our content and products don’t have a direct tie to improving racial equality. However, we’re a mission-driven company that’s trying to make a difference in this world. I want to be clear where I stand on the issue—Black lives matter. I can only hope that the attention this particular movement is getting will finally result in long-overdue change in how we treat Black people in our country.

E Source’s action plan

During a company-wide meeting on June 10, Greenberg announced four initiatives E Source will take to work toward being a more-inclusive company and to continuously support the Black Lives Matter movement:

  • We will be proactive in recruiting Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) for job openings.
  • We will work with historically black colleges and universities across the country to develop a program for identifying job candidates.
  • We will support energy industry associations within the Black community with financial and strategic contributions.
  • We will sponsor a paid internship opportunity for a BIPOC candidate starting in the summer of 2021.

We’re announcing this plan publicly to make our position clear and to encourage others to hold us accountable as we begin the work of dismantling racism within our company and the industry we serve. We won’t get it right all the time, but we’re committed to listening, learning, and using our privileged position to make a difference.

Comments

This is great! Remember Supplier Diversity % also.

Contributing Authors

Senior Analyst, Customer Engagement Solutions

Jessica is a senior analyst on the marketing and communications research team at E Source and she has 13 years of digital marketing and...

Customer Experience Senior Manager, Customer Engagement Solutions

Eryc Eyl is committed to improving the experience of work and business for employees and customers. His expertise in customer experience, employee...