Startups Fighting the Climate Crisis by Innovating Sustainable Solutions

sustainable forest storing carbon in nature
  • Revolutionary sustainable building materials are being innovated to reduce global carbon emission
  • A ‘concrete jungle’ currently stores the equivalent of a forest nearly two thirds the size of the African Samoa
  • Wooden skyscrapers are being built nearly the size of the Empire State Building

Concrete is the most consumed material on the planet and a major contributor to the ongoing climate crisis. The popular building material is responsible for 7% of the worlds total carbon dioxide emissions. Worse it is often poured where trees once stood tall, storing carbon while providing us with much need clean oxygen.

Now skyscrapers compete for sunshine where the trees used to, roads and sidewalks connecting them like roots above the soil.

Reducing the carbon footprint of concrete to create a more sustainable future 

In an effort to reduce carbon emissions in new buildings to zero, CarbonCure is providing new meaning to the term ‘concrete jungle.’ Founded by CEO Robert Niven, the companies tech has added some much needed functionality to our most produced building material.

By infusing carbon dioxide (CO2) inside of fresh concrete the gas is stored for the materials entire lifetime. This process is called CO2 mineralization and the added carbon fortifies the cement further. The resulting product is not only stronger but offers a quick and effective ethical solution for reducing greenhouse gas emissions at build sites.

The concrete and construction industries current contributions to climate change is irresponsible and unsustainable. There is a desperate need to counter the excessive waste of resources while reducing our total carbon footprint.

inside (CarbonCure) concrete is the equivalent to the absorption from 30,000 acres of forestland.

As of June of 2019 CarbonCure’s sustainable solution has reduced more than 68 million pounds of CO2 that would otherwise be in our atmosphere. That amount of CO2 trapped inside concrete is the equivalent to the absorption from 30,000 acres of forestland. That amount of forest would cover nearly two third of the entire African Samoa.

beautiful sustainable building storing carbon inside carboncure concrete
Photo: carboncure.com
CarbonCure concrete used at the Bergeron Centre for Engineerings Excellence

Clean building solutions being used internationally

Some high profile companies like McDonalds and MGM have built with the carbon storing cement and it’s been used for the construction of community centers, hospitals, and university buildings. CarbonCure is produced in over 100 locations from the USA to Southeast Asia.

It is no wonder that for four consecutive years CarbonCure has been honored in the ‘Global Cleantech 100’. A study from the United Kingdoms Committee on Climate Change concluded that Britain would fail to meet the targets outlined in the Paris Agreement “without the near complete elimination of greenhouse gas emissions from UK building.”

Cleantech company capturing and removing CO2 from industrial processes

Salcape owns the patent for the process known as CCMS; Carbon Capture in Molten Salts. The brand was founded on December 12, 2015, the same day that the Paris Agreement was signed. The Norwegian based cleantech company offers technology for smart industrial CO2 removal by capturing toxic gas produced in heavy pollution industries like cement, metal works and power plants.

Salcape says they’ve essentially created a zero waste process using molten salts with a technique known as calcium looping. Calcium oxide (CaO) absorbs carbon dioxide (CO2) and releases it at high temperatures (and vice versa) during this process. 

The key to Salcape’s process lies in the use of molten salts instead of an additive. This removes waste and makes for an extremely energy efficient solution. The company says their method “removes all known issues found in other calcium looping processes.”

Innovations in wood materials are also being used… to build just about anything

Concrete isn’t the only building material getting a cleantech renovation. Many parts of a sustainable future will be built with wood, as environmentally focused startups are creating flexible woods to mimic plastics and thousand foot tall skyscrapers. Clothes, furniture and shoes are also being made from wood fibers.

Viable alternative and sustainable building materials like cross laminated timber gain popularity, but one thing is for certain. Concrete will be poured tomorrow.

New technologies share ambitions of redesigning the most consumed man-made material to be more sustainable. Facing todays climate crisis, a new industrial revolution is happening in our cities. One day all buildings will be carbon neutral as part of a truly sustainable society. Until then make sure you check out our Call to Action to see the impact we can make today!

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