As a key construction material, concrete has everything going for it — except its carbon footprint. What if, instead of contributing to carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, concrete helped eliminate CO2 from the built environment? What is currently viewed as a threat to the industry may just be one of its greatest opportunities.
Like the air we breathe, concrete is often taken for granted despite the vital role it plays in everyday life.
Concrete shapes the built environment around us — from schools, hospitals, and housing to roads, bridges, tunnels, runways, data centers, windmills, and water systems. Concrete is the most abundant human-made material in the world, with three tonnes used annually for every person on the planet.
This prevalence is a testament to its efficacy. Concrete is simply the most resilient building material in the world.
Outside of the industry, few people give concrete a second thought. Increasingly, however, it is coming under scrutiny for its significant climate impact; carbon performance is the defining competitive issue for the foreseeable future. Concrete is at the center of the collision between population growth and urbanization megatrends. Densely populated cities are growing at an unprecedented rate. By 2060 the world is expected to add 230 billion square metres of new buildings, interconnected by critical infrastructure. That’s equivalent to building another New York City every month for the next 40 years. Most of this new construction will be built with concrete. This construction volume presents a massive market opportunity for concrete producers.
However, cement — the key ingredient that gives concrete its strength — is also one of the largest emitters of CO2 in the built environment. This is due to cement’s inherent calcination process and its enormous scale. Cement represents more than three times the CO2 emissions of civil aviation.
Environmental mission and strategy (ESG)
CarbonCure’s vision is to make its carbon dioxide removal technology standard for all concrete production across the globe. By realizing the full potential of CarbonCure’s portfolio of technologies, the goal of saving 500 megatonnes of embodied carbon emissions every year by 2030 could be met—which would be equivalent to taking 100 million cars off the road.