As President Obama gets through his first week in his new job, his focus is clearly on defibrillating the economy and addressing other national security issues. But during his campaign, as gas prices were more than double what they are now, energy independence was a major concern of his. I suspect that we haven’t heard the end of his energy independence aspirations.

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Looking over President Obama’s energy independence plan, specifically the part about eliminating our current imports from the Middle East and Venezuela within 10 years, it seems that the focus is not geared towards reducing the way fuel is consumed, just mainly producing more fuel domestically and manufacturing vehicles that consume less fuel.

But what if President Obama wanted to encourage changes to the way that fuel is consumed – the behavior that drives fuel consumption? Could that break us from our “addiction to oil?”

I believe it could.

Just think of everything you source that gets transported. Some of it you buy locally. Some of it you buy from across the country. Some of it you buy from the other side of the world.

You obviously choose those sources because they are the best suppliers for those items. They may also likely have a cost advantage. You probably base most of your decisions on your evaluation of some combination of cost, delivery, service, and quality.

But if solving our addiction to oil is such a national priority, perhaps factoring in fuel consumed should be a part of the supplier selection process. In other words, a supplier that consumes less fuel to transport your product will get more consideration.

For those practicing green procurement, this is already a common practice. But the purpose of me suggesting that factoring fuel consumption into the decision is not so much about protecting the environment as it is about supporting the national priority of energy independence.

Should an organization be willing to pay a small premium in order to consume less fuel the way it pays a small premium to award business to diversity suppliers?

Should businesses that reduce fuel consumption through via changes to their sourcing practices be eligible for tax credits?

What can President Obama do to get US businesses to support his energy independence plan through “fuel-conscious sourcing?” (Ooh, I think I just invented a term there)

To Your Career,
Charles Dominick, SPSM
President & Chief Procurement Officer
Next Level Purchasing, Inc.
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Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3

Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3 is an internationally-recognized business expert, legendary procurement thought leader, award-winning entrepreneur, and provocative blogger. Charles founded the Next Level Purchasing Association in 2000, oversaw its incredible growth, and successfully led the organization to its acquisition by the Certitrek Group in 2016. He continues to blog and provide advisory services for the NLPA on a part-time basis as he incubates his upcoming business innovations. Charles is also the co-author of the wildly popular, groundbreaking book, "The Procurement Game Plan: Winning Strategies & Techniques For Supply Management Professionals."

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