Amazon, Microsoft invest in sustainable concrete producer

A Canadian cleantech company, CarbonCure Technologies, that develops carbon dioxide removal (CDR) solutions for the concrete industry has received investment from leading technology and property developers.

Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund and Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV) co-led the investment syndicate comprising Microsoft, BDC Capital, 2150, Thistledown Foundation, Taronga Group and GreenSoil Investments, CarbonCure said on Thursday.

The investment represents a commitment to tackling the carbon footprint of concrete, the most abundant human-made material in the world.

Cement — the key ingredient that gives concrete its strength — is also one of the largest emitters of carbon dioxide in the built environment.

“This collaborative investment by technology and property development firms is a great endorsement of CarbonCure as the go-to carbon dioxide removal solution for the growing tech construction space and the overall shift towards low embodied carbon construction materials,” Robert Niven, CEO and Co-Founder of CarbonCure Technologies, said in a statement.

“We witnessed the tech industry setting climate change trends with their adoption of renewable energy sources like wind and solar. This investment in CDR signals a broader change for public and private infrastructure projects as industries and governments turn their focus toward the reduction of embodied carbon,” said Niven.

In 2019, Amazon co-founded the Climate Pledge, a commitment to be net-zero carbon by 2040 — 10 years ahead of the Paris Agreement date.

Amazon’s investment in CarbonCure aligns with this commitment.

“We are excited to invest in CarbonCure, a company producing stronger, more sustainable concrete, which will help Amazon and other companies meet The Climate Pledge, a commitment to be net-zero carbon by 2040,” said Kara Hurst, Vice President of Sustainability, Amazon.

“We are looking forward to lowering the carbon footprint of many of our buildings by using CarbonCure concrete, including in Amazon’s HQ2 building in Virginia.”

CarbonCure said it intends to use the capital investment to accelerate its product roadmap and geographical expansion in order to meet its goal of removing 500 million metric tonnes or 500 Mt of carbon dioxide annually from the concrete industry by 2030.

CarbonCure is already used by nearly 300 concrete producers to supply low embodied carbon concrete to construction projects.

Microsoft, another prominent tech company in CarbonCure’s investment syndicate, also has ambitious sustainability commitments.

“Achieving a net zero carbon future requires developing innovative new technologies to address carbon emissions across industries,” said Brandon Middaugh, Director of Microsoft’s Climate Innovation Fund.

“Solutions like CarbonCure help to reduce carbon emissions from the concrete industry, which is a large producer of carbon, and help us meet our goal to be carbon negative by 2030.”