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2022 Finalist
Fix Our

Low Carbon Materials

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.

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This Earthshot focuses on three main areas of interest: 

  1. Protecting areas of high biodiversity such as forests, wetland, peatlands and wildlife corridors
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Clean Our

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: 

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  3. Transitioning to clean transportation for all
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Revive Our

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This Earthshot focuses on three main areas of interest: 

  1. Protecting and restoring coastal ecosystems
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Build a

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. Reducing food loss from farm to fork
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Fix Our

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This Earthshot focuses on three main areas of interest: 

  1. Creating an equitable clean energy future
  2. Addressing non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions
  3. Decarbonising hard to abate sectors
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The Earthshot Prize