Fort Carson near Colorado Springs, Colo., works to achieve net-zero status — a goal helped along greatly by the use of solar energy.
Photo Courtesy U.S. Army
The U.S. Army is making innovative strides toward sustainability with its Net-Zero Initiative, which aims to achieve five net-zero energy installations, five net-zero water installations and five net-zero waste installations by 2020. A net-zero energy installation produces as much energy onsite as it uses; a net-zero water installation limits the consumption of freshwater resources and returns water back to the local watershed; and a net-zero waste installation reduces, reuses and recovers waste streams, converting them to resources and thus creating zero landfill waste.
The initiative will award $7 billion in contracts over 30 years to businesses that develop sustainable projects at Army bases. According to the Army, achieving the initiative’s goals will allow it to maximize efficiency, steward available resources and manage costs. The Army’s attention to resource management could give an important boost to renewables and conservation efforts by showing how efficient and beneficial they can be.
To learn more visit the U.S. Army’s Net-Zero Initiative.
Amanda Sorell is an Assistant Editor at MOTHER EARTH NEWS magazine. You can find her on Google+.