CarbonCure Technologies, based in Dartmouth, N.S., has started 2020 in winning style. Not only was the company named 2020 North American Cleantech Company of the Year by San Francisco’s Cleantech Group, it also won a grant of up to $3 million from the federal Breakthrough program.

The company has developed a method to reduce the carbon footprint of concrete by injecting CO2 into it which produces a stronger concrete while reducing carbon emissions. Even Bill Gates is impressed.

In a recent blog and video about the problems associated with massive growth and construction in cities, Gates lauds CarbonCure for its “clever” approach to a deepening problem.

“As the global population rises, urban areas around the world are booming, and that means more and more buildings are going up. By one estimate, the world will add 2 trillion square feet of buildings by 2060 – the equivalent of putting up another New York City every month for the next 40 years,” Gates states.

This is the first time a Canadian company has won the prestigious award from the Cleantech Group, which provides research, consulting and events to boost sustainable growth powered by innovation.

According to a release announcing CarbonCure’s big win, concrete is the second-most abundant man-made material in the world, and cement, its key ingredient, is responsible for an estimated seven per cent of global carbon dioxide emissions. CarbonCure is on its way to achieving 500 megatons of CO2 reductions annually.

The company had a record year in 2019. The total production volume of reduced-carbon concrete nearly doubled from the previous year, surpassing 4 million cubic yards.

Seamus O’Regan, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, added to CarbonCure’s good news by announcing the firm is one of 10 winners of the Breakthrough Energy Solutions Canada initiative – a first-of-its-kind public–private initiative in Canada aimed at accelerating the development of clean energy technologies. Each of the winners receive up to $3 million to develop their clean energy technologies with an opportunity to gain access to additional private investments from Breakthrough Energy Ventures, the Business Development Bank of Canada and others.