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From Bush to Obama, U.S. Army Goes Green, then Greener

The U.S. Army’s Garrison Grafenwoehr in Germany began winning environmental awards when President Bush was still in office, and now it bills itself as the leader in an ambitious new sustainability program launched under President Obama called the Army Net Zero initiative. As a military installation that also lays claim to the title “The Crown Jewel of U.S. Army Europe,” Grafenwoehr offers a critical lesson about the true meaning of genuine energy independence. After all, no matter how much the U.S. oil industry produces for civilians in the 50 states, military facilities and operations overseas still need to get their energy from somewhere.

Grafenwoehr leads in army net zero initiative
Army Net Zero Initiative

The Army Net Zero initiative launched in April 2011 with the goal of taking U.S. military facilities off the grid. That means using no more energy than can be produced on site or locally sourced, using only water harvested on site, and sending no waste to landfills.

With all the saber-rattling over the Strait of Hormuz and the broader fiscal and logistical issues surrounding military oil dependency, it’s more than obvious why the Pentagon has been transitioning as rapidly out of fossil fuels as current technology allows.

Net zero for water and waste might seem a little less obvious as strategic military goals, but water and waste are both critical factors in energy consumption and cost control, particularly when it comes to transportation and resupply issues.
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