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About us

Low Carbon Materials (LCM) develops new solutions for the built environment - with no compromise to our planet. We work with ambitious partners who are open to new science-led product innovations.

We make net-zero construction a reality.

Our vision is to be the world leader in low carbon and environmentally friendly building materials. We pride ourselves on our ability to innovate with purpose, our open-mindedness to new ideas and ways of thinking, our collaborative nature, and our ongoing positive impact on the environment.

About us

Sphera develops new materials for the built environment - with no compromise to our planet. We work with ambitious partners who are open to new science-led product innovations.

We make net-zero construction a reality.

Our vision is to be the world leader in low carbon and environmentally friendly building materials. We pride ourselves on our ability to innovate with purpose, our open-mindedness to new ideas and ways of thinking, our collaborative nature, and our ongoing positive impact on the environment.

Our journey so far

2022
Scaling
In readiness for a move to new facilities, full commercial operation, and to prepare for future product innovation, the company rebrands to ‘Low Carbon Materials’. A new logo is introduced.
2022
Scaling
Low Carbon Materials is nominated for the prestigious and highly coveted Earthshot Prize, placing the company among the 1000 most impactful and inspiring solutions for environmental issues globally.
2022
Scaling
Jade Business Park, the new site will provide new R&D facilities, increased production capacity and office space for a growing team. Several key members of staff join the team.

Factory fit-out begins mid-year, alongside ongoing production testing, with the company expected to move late Autumn.

2022
Scaling
LCM is one of four companies selected by WSP USA to take part in its accelerator programme and one of nine global companies chosen to take part in the Holcim accelerator programme.
2022
Scaling
Low Carbon Materials successfully raises £1.9m in a pre-series A via Green Angel Syndicate.

"Natasha and her team really impressed our specialist Green Angel Syndicate members, right from the very first meeting. The Low Carbon Materials approach to decarbonising such a mainstream component of global building materials is very compelling, hence our substantial investment."

Cam Ross, CEO

2021
Product trials
Dr Natasha Boulding discusses the company’s solution on SCI’s COP26 panel of next-generation scientists ‘Countdown to Planet Zero, Combating Climate Change with Chemistry.’

Plans are underway to move to larger premises to enable production to scale following secured investment.

2020
Further Research & Development
LCM CEO, Natasha Boulding receives the Innovate UK ‘Women In Innovation Award’.
2020
Further Research & Development
LCM moves into its first premises at Fishburn Industrial Estate, Durham.
low carbon materials team in new facility
2019
Spin out stage
Low Carbon Materials receives Innovate UK grants and further support from BEIS, Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, Creative Destruction Lab and Tech Nation.

Additional support is received from Blueprint Start-up Challenge, Durham City Incubator and Northern Accelerator.

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2019
Spin out stage
Following the success of their R&D work whilst at Durham University, a spin-out is formed, focusing on the development of next-generation construction materials.

The company, initially founded as Plastech Innovation, wins the Society of Chemical Industry's (SCI) ‘Bright Idea Challenge’, collects the North East Startup Awards 'Ones to Watch’ award and is a finalist for ‘Just Imagine If...’ award.

2018
Research & Development
Natasha Boulding, Phil Buckley and Scott Bush embark on scientific research alongside their PhD studies, experimenting with waste materials.

This builds on their previous experience in innovation, including synthetic polymer chemistry, functional surface chemistry and nanotechnology.

Our Future
We’re scientists and engineers, passionate about discovering new ways to reduce carbon and protect our planet.

2023 will see us scale further, establish core partners and continue to push innovation within the sector. We are always exploring new product-based developments, providing wider building solutions and greater choice to the industry.
For Investors

Our team

Natasha BouldingNatasha Boulding

Natasha Boulding

CEO

Natasha has a chemistry PhD and spent many years as a scientist in the UK and internationally.

She co-founded Low Carbon Materials (LCM) to champion green tech and cross-disciplinary working to tackle our biggest challenges.

She won Innovate UK’s Women in Innovation Award 2021.

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Phil BuckleyPhil Buckley

Phil Buckley

COO/CFO

Phil brings exceptional analytical skills to Low Carbon Materials (LCM) .

He oversees financial operations and projections, day-to-day runnings, and executes plans for company growth.

Phil has a decade of experience as a mathematician and materials chemist with a PhD to his name.

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Scott BushScott Bush

Scott Bush

CTO & Sustainability Lead

Scott uses his vast experience in practical sciences to oversee new product development and dissemination.

He brings his passion for the natural world into his work and ensures that all aspects of the business have a positive impact on the environment.

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Antonella PagliaruloAntonella Pagliarulo

Antonella Pagliarulo

Technical Manager

Antonella develops product-based solutions to the environmental and technical challenges the building materials sector is facing.

She has a materials chemistry PhD and over a decade of scientific experience in concrete, nanotechnology and polymers.

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Richard CornerRichard Corner

Richard Corner

Production Manager

Richard holds a BSc in Chemistry and has experience working with fine chemicals and analysis. As production manager, he is responsible for optimising the efficiency of aggregate production processes, quality control and hitting production targets.

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Natalie ArnottNatalie Arnott

Natalie Arnott

Finance & Office Administrator

With a wealth of knowledge and experience in bookkeeping and administration, Natalie joins our team to ensure the smooth running of our day-to-day operations.

She has spent over 15 years in retail and has an excellent customer service focus. There's nothing she can't handle.

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Jenny Ashton-SmithJenny Ashton-Smith

Jenny Ashton-Smith

Head of Marketing

Jenny has a long-established career in marketing, branding, communications and PR, which includes over a decade in the construction industry.

A Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, practitioner and tutor, her rounded experience and skill-set mean she’s well placed to drive and develop the LCM brand, reputation and market presence.

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Marc KellyMarc Kelly

Marc Kelly

Production Operative

Marc is involved in the whole process of creating the carbon negative aggregates.

He brings many years of working with machines to his role as well as ensuring the quality of the product remains consistent.

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Matthew AndersonMatthew Anderson

Matthew Anderson

Production Operative

Matthew uses his previous experience of working with machinery to make sure everything runs smoothly with the production of OSTO®. He enjoys working at Low Carbon Materials (LCM) as the company’s values resonate with him, and he thrives on working in a fast-paced environment.

His favourite part of the OSTO® creation process is being able to see the finished product, and he is looking forward to seeing the positive environmental impact it brings.

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Steve WardSteve Ward

Steve Ward

R&D Scientist

Steve works with the R&D team to develop novel materials, designed to deliver product-based solutions that can help reduce the carbon footprint of the building sector. He has a materials chemistry PhD from Newcastle University and brings with him over ten years of experience in construction materials, battery technology, and green chemistry materials development.

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Join our team!

We’re looking for the next generation of innovators to help us revolutionise the construction sector.

Open Careers Page

sphera team standing inside of the company facility
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LCM is an Earthshot Prize Finalist in the 'Fix Our Climate' category! Earthshot Prize is the world’s most prestigious environmental prize, established in 2020 by HRH Prince William and The Royal Foundation.

Discover Earthshot PrizeClose