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CO2 Storage in Concrete Demolition Material – South Pole and Sika Launch Climate Action Program with Innovative Negative Emission Technology
24 Aug 2023

CO2 Storage in Concrete Demolition Material – South Pole and Sika Launch Climate Action Program with Innovative Negative Emission Technology

Press Release
South Pole

Zurich, August 24, 2023 – The world's leading climate company South Pole and the specialty chemicals group Sika are cooperating within the framework of a climate action program. This program applies a novel concrete recycling process that allows for complete utilisation of old concrete while simultaneously storing CO2. To promote the adoption of this technology, the Swiss Climate Cent Foundation guarantees the purchase of CO2 certificates from this program, initially 10 million Swiss Francs (roughly USD 11.5 million).

Nearly 40% of global CO2 emissions are attributed to the construction and building sector. Approximately 30 billion tons of concrete are produced worldwide annually, with demand continuing to rise. The binding agent cement and the composite material concrete are important construction materials, but their production contributes to climate change. Estimates suggest that cement production alone is responsible for roughly 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions. With reCO2ver®, Sika has developed an innovative technology that enables complete recycling of concrete demolition material, setting it apart within the concrete industry.

To be able to demonstrate the climate benefit of reCO2ver® facilities in a standardised manner, South Pole is developing a climate action program in accordance with the guidelines of the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN). A significant milestone has now been achieved concerning the implementation and utilisation of this CO2 capture and storage technology: The Swiss Climate Cent Foundation guarantees the purchase of carbon credits from this program, initially amounting to 10 million Swiss Francs (roughly USD 11.5 million) until the end of 2030.

Christian Dannecker, Global Senior Director Climate Projects at South Pole, said: "Negative emission technologies are becoming increasingly important tools to achieve global net-zero goals. With this groundbreaking initiative, we are taking another step to scale climate action in the field of technological carbon capture and permanent storage in Europe through climate financing."

Advancement of Negative Emission Technologies

Sika's technology not only processes old concrete into high-quality individual components such as gravel, sand, and cement, but also binds additional CO2 through a chemical process. Approximately 15 kilograms of CO2 can be permanently stored per ton of demolition material. Since October 2021, a pilot plant has been operational in Switzerland, and the testing phase has now been successfully completed.

The implementation of facilities is a central component of the climate action program developed by South Pole. By the end of 2030, around 17,000 tons of CO2 are expected to be stored in concrete demolition material as part of this program. This corresponds roughly to the amount of CO2 emitted during the construction of 850 single-family houses made of concrete.

Enabling the financing and implementation of CO2 capture and storage projects is part of South Pole's strategy. The development of this pioneering project aligns with a rapidly growing demand for CO2-utilisation solutions.

Willy-Andreas Heckmann
Head of Communications DACH
South Pole

South Pole, a social enterprise recognised by the World Economic Forum's Schwab Foundation, is today the world's leading climate solutions provider and carbon project developer. Since its creation in 2006, it has developed more than 850 projects in over 50 countries that have helped reduce over 200 million metric tonnes of CO2 emissions, and provide social benefits to communities who are particularly vulnerable to climate change. Projects range from sustainable agriculture, forest conservation, waste management, to energy efficiency and decentralized renewable energy. For more information, visit oder folgen Sie uns auf LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

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