The Net Zero concept is a way of thinking that profoundly changes one’s approach towards waste management and resource recovery and is a means to ensuring a greener and sustainable planet. It is not only about net zero energy but also about net zero waste and net zero water. The ultimate aim is not just recycling or diverting from conventional methods of waste management like land filling, dumping, incineration, etc., but creating production and distribution systems that prevent waste from being generated. Thus Net Zero is an R4 concept of waste, viz., Reduction, Repurposing, Recycling, Recovery.
Simply put, Net Zero Energy for a site would mean the production of as much energy as it uses over a period of time. Net Zero Water implies limited usage and depletion of ground and surface water resources and returning the same quality and quantity of water back to the same watershed over a period of time. Net Zero Waste aims at reducing the amount of waste generated, re-purposing waste, recycling of waste generated and recovering to geneate energy which is then reused, thus disposal of waste being near zero.
A graphical representation of the Net Zero Concept applied in an integrated manner to the Dairy Industry is as follows: