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Driving Sustainability: Low Carbon Materials partners with National Highways to decarbonise UK roads.

highway in a forest
  • Who: Low Carbon Materials and National Highways collaborate to decarbonise road construction. 
  • What: Through this partnership LCM is developing an innovative carbon-negative aggregate for use in asphalt. 
  • Why: The collaboration will help National Highways achieve its net zero goals and reduce carbon emissions in the sector. 

Low Carbon Materials (LCM) has partnered with National Highways to develop an innovative climate tech solution for decarbonising UK roads. 

We’ve joined forces as part of the National Highways Accelerating Low Carbon Innovation Programme. 

The programme combines the industry expertise of National Highways and its Tier 1 suppliers into an accelerator project to help companies successfully introduce innovative approaches to the road industry.

As a member of the programme’s cohort, LCM has spent the last six months developing a carbon-negative aggregate designed for use in asphalt mixes to achieve carbon-neutral asphalt. 

What is Asphalt? 

Asphalt is a fundamental component of road construction in the UK. 

The UK produces around 25 million tonnes of asphalt annually, with asphalt roads accounting for over 95% of all UK roads (Asphalt Industry Alliance, 2021). 

Tackling the emissions of such a significant part of UK roads is vital for National Highways to achieve its goal of having net zero emissions for all of its maintenance and road construction activities by 2040. 

What is LCM’s solution? 

Our innovative carbon-negative aggregate sequesters a significant amount of carbon dioxide, which is permanently stored in the road. The volume of aggregate used is able to balance out the embodied emissions, resulting in net zero asphalt.  

Of course, it is still important to assess and reduce the carbon footprint of all materials and processes involved in the production of roads, for example, by using renewable energy and limiting transportation where possible. 

Earthshot Prize finalist Low Carbon Materials has used its expertise in science-based material innovation, with the support of National Highways, to create a carbon-negative aggregate for use in asphalt. 

The aggregate can be used in asphalt mixes to achieve carbon-neutral asphalt, which, if adopted at scale, will help to reduce the emissions of new road construction and maintenance throughout the country's road network. 

Dr Lian Hutchings, Head of Growth at LCM, highlighted the significance of this collaboration, saying "The knowledge and expertise of National Highways and their Tier-one partners has proved invaluable for ensuring our new carbon-negative aggregate meets the regulations and standards of this sector.” 

CEO and Co-founder Dr Natasha Boulding, reflecting on the partnership's broader implications, commented, "This collaboration marks a significant step for LCM as a science-led decarbonisation partner. We are excited to be helping this hard-to-abate sector reshape the sustainability landscape of the UK's road infrastructure.”

We’re very proud to support the Net Zero goals of such a significant UK infrastructure provider and help tackle the carbon footprint of the UK’s roads and motorways. 

As net-zero rises up the regulatory agenda, this partnership signals the crucial role of science-led innovation to find the solutions we need.

If you are interested in using our carbon-negative aggregate in asphalt - reach out here:,Contact%20Us,-Privacy%20Policy  

Alternatively, you can ask us in person at the Highways UK event taking place on the 18th and 19th of October at the NEC, Birmingham. 

The free-to-attend event will bring together industry leaders from the road infrastructure sector and will feature dedicated sections for technology, innovation and sustainability. 

LCM will be showcasing our work at the event - register here: