Canadian Firm Helping Concrete Industry Reduce Carbon Footprint

Published on: 06 May 2022
by KnowESG

CarbonCure Technologies is a cleantech firm based in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, that helps the concrete industry lower its carbon footprint while also developing a global network for permanent storage of collected carbon dioxide (CO2) in concrete to help stabilise our climate.

CarbonCure has developed and deployed carbon removal technologies that mineralise CO2 trapped in new concrete, making it greener without sacrificing performance.

CarbonCure was created in 2012, at a period when the company was still developing its technology based on its research. The company sought help from the National Research Council of Canada's Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP) and Industrial Technology Advisor (ITA) Jean Léger, who backed the founders' idea of adding CO2 into concrete. For that purpose, Jean connected CarbonCure to the NRC's Construction Research Centre, giving the company access to expertise and labs to investigate CO2 integration strategies.

With NRC Construction and NRC IRAP, CarbonCure developed a technology for utilising mineralised CO2 as a component in the concrete manufacturing process.

Through several research and development programmes, CarbonCure has continued to get advice and support from NRC IRAP. Through NRC IRAP's Youth Employment Program, one of these projects promoted hiring new talent.

It proved to be a crucial step for the company, as it allowed them to hire Jennifer Wagner, a new process analyst with an MBA and a Master of Science in Analytical Chemistry. Jennifer had a strong desire to lead the effort to reduce the construction industry's carbon footprint, and she went on to become the President of CarbonCure.

CarbonCure has scaled a suite of solutions to reduce and eliminate more than 150,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide across the concrete manufacturing process, from mixing fresh concrete to reclaimed water treatment, with more than 550 systems supplied across 25 countries.

These technologies have not only helped CarbonCure to remain at the top of its field, but they have also allowed its concrete producer partners to improve the product's sustainability.

CarbonCure has caught the attention of private investors as an industry leader in the fight against CO2 emissions. It launched Carbon Removal Credit Program in 2021, with Stripe and Shopify among the first buyers.

The firm announced a $30 million (USD) carbon credit purchase arrangement with Invert and Ripple in April 2022, which was the largest carbon credit purchase agreement for CO2 storage by carbon mineralisation then.

Several awards have acknowledged CarbonCure's climate leadership, including the Bloomberg New Energy Pioneers award in 2019. The firm was awarded the COSIA Carbon XPRIZE Challenge in 2021 for its capacity to demonstrate groundbreaking methods for converting collected CO2 into useable products.

It was inducted into the Global Cleantech Hall of Fame in 2022 after seven years on the Global Cleantech 100 list. CarbonCure was recently awarded the Governor General's Innovation Award (GGIA) for its efforts as a global pioneer in CO2 removal technologies, in honour of its significant contributions to sustainable industry solutions.

Jennifer Wagner, President, CarbonCure, said:

"NRC IRAP's support was instrumental to our company's development from the start. From connecting us to the right expertise to hiring new talent and supporting the R&D of a wide range of sustainable concrete solutions, we are grateful to NRC IRAP for being an invaluable part of our early success."

Source: Government of Canada