2022 Finalist
Fix Our
Climate

Low Carbon Materials

Country: United Kingdom

Concrete is responsible for an extraordinary eight percent of the world’s CO2 emissions. Now, thanks to UK based LCM, production could soon go from unclean to green.

Their Story

With few low carbon alternatives, construction’s quest to decarbonise has long been hampered by its reliance on concrete.

Affordable, durable and easy to produce, concrete is the most widely used man-made material on the planet. Over the last three decades, production has increased fourfold as urbanisation grows and economic development accelerates around the world. But our concrete reliance has a heavy cost, generating 2.8bn tonnes of CO2 emissions each year. Only two countries, China and the United States, emit more carbon than that.

Founded by three Chemistry PhD students, LCM wants to clean up construction. It makes OSTO, a carbon-negative alternative to traditional aggregate, one of concrete’s main ingredients. Today, LCM is working with the industry to create a new zero carbon concrete block with OSTO making up 10 percent of its overall weight.

LCM hopes that OSTO will become essential to building projects in the UK. If it does, the impact will be vast. The UK Government has said it wants to build 300,000 new homes each year. If just ten percent use OSTO, 65,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions would be avoided in just five years. House-building is just the start. LCM has also tested OSTO’s suitability for other objects commonly made from concrete, like curbs, street furniture and paving stones. Block by block, LCM wants to get construction to net zero.

Other Finalists in Fix Our Climate

Learn About the Earthshots

Protect
and Restore
Nature
2022/23 PRIORITIES

By 2030, we choose to ensure that, for the first time in human history, the natural world is growing – not shrinking – on our planet. 

This Earthshot focuses on three main areas of interest: 

  1. Protecting and managing natural carbon stores such as peatlands and intact forests
  2. Restoring forests, wetlands, and other damaged ecosystems
  3. Developing and scaling regenerative agriculture
Learn more about this earthshot

Clean Our
Air
2022/23 PRIORITIES

By 2030 we choose to ensure that everyone in the world breathes clean, healthy air – at World Health Organization standard or better. 

This Earthshot focuses on three main areas of interest: 

  1. Engaging citizens in data collection and advocacy
  2. Efforts to stop burning in agriculture and forests
  3. Transitioning to clean personal transportation
Learn more about this earthshot

Revive Our
Oceans
2022/23 PRIORITIES

By 2030, we choose to repair and preserve our oceans for future generations. 

This Earthshot focuses on three main areas of interest: 

  1. Reducing and addressing overfishing 
  2. Developing ocean ecosystem services that mitigate climate change: ‘blue carbon’ 
  3. Advancing climate change solutions with ocean benefits 
Learn more about this earthshot

Build a
Waste-free
World
2022/23 PRIORITIES

By 2030, we choose to build a world where nothing goes to waste, where the leftovers of one process become the raw materials of the next – just like they do in nature. 

This Earthshot focuses on three main areas of interest: 

  1. Moving towards waste-free food, including efforts to shift to a plant-based diet
  2. Championing waste-free fashion 
  3. Circular solutions: extending the life of goods and/or eliminating single-use goods
Learn more about this earthshot

Fix Our
Climate
2022/23 PRIORITIES

We choose to fix the world’s climate by cutting out carbon: building a carbon neutral economy that lets every culture, community and country thrive. 

This Earthshot focuses on three main areas of interest: 

  1. Transitioning to renewable energy for all
  2. Reducing methane emissions
  3. Constructing buildings fit for the future
Learn more about this earthshot
The Earthshot Prize