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Low Carbon Materials attends The Earthshot Prize' inaugural Fellowship Retreat

Dr Natasha Boulding, CEO and Co-Founder of Low Carbon Materials with the Prince of Wales (Prince William) at the Earthshot Prize Fellowship Retreat

We were delighted to be a 2022 Earthshot Prize finalist in the Fix our Climate category with our science-based, low-carbon building material OSTO®.

What is The Earthshot Prize?

The Earthshot Prize, founded in 2020 by HRH the Prince of Wales and The Royal Foundation, is the world's most prestigious environmental award. 

The Prize urgently encourages and scales innovative solutions by discovering, accelerating and expanding ground-breaking ideas that can repair and regenerate the planet. 

Being a finalist for The Earthshot Prize is an independent verification from the highest authority that our product, OSTO, has the potential to help fix our planet.

To qualify as a finalist, the Expert Advisory Panel of scientific, academic and subject-matter leaders assessed nominees on their potential to create a game-changing impact globally. 

The Panel includes members such as: 

  • Antha Williams
  • Bezawit Eshetu
  • Ma Jun
  • Tom Rivett-Carnac

Out of thousands of nominees, the Panel selected 15 finalists under five categories: 

  • Protect and Restore Nature
  • Clean our Air 
  • Revive our Oceans 
  • Build a Waste-free World 
  • Fix our Climate. 

Click here to learn more about us and The Earthshot Prize.

Low Carbon Materials CEO & Co-Founder Dr Natasha Boulding at the Earthshot Prize Fellowship Retreat session with Deloitte

Why Low Carbon Materials? 

The Earthshot Prize recognised the potential of our product, OSTO, a carbon-negative lightweight aggregate for concrete produced out of waste and by-products. OSTO is designed for concrete blockwork.

By creating products such as OSTO, we are supporting the momentum of the construction industry towards a net-zero, decarbonised future. 

Our blocks tackle three major environmental issues: 

  • The use of our aggregate in blocks significantly reduces CO2eq emissions, which helps to tackle climate change.
  • Our alternative aggregates are made from waste plastic. Therefore, the concrete blocks reuse materials that would have otherwise gone to landfills or incineration.
  • Our aggregate, OSTO, provides an alternative to traditional carbon intensive lightweight aggregate. 

For more information about OSTO, click here.

The Earthshot Prize finalists hear from Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, an environmental activist, geographer and Member of The Earthshot Prize Council. 

The Earthshot Prize Fellowship Retreat:

This week, all 15 finalists convened under the same roof at The Earthshot Prizes' inaugural Fellowship Retreat at Cumberland Lodge in Windsor, UK. 

The 5-day Retreat is a vital part of the Earthshot Prizes' nine-month Fellowship Programme - a unique accelerator designed by global design company IDEO. The week is designed to help accelerate our solutions by unlocking new routes to market, accessing finance and building industry partnerships.

The week with the Earthshot Prize:

  • Monday - Self-Awareness: 

Finalists began the week with inspirational welcomes from Hannah Jones and Christiana Figueres, an Exponential Potential session with Tim Brown and personal growth coaching with Linda Lucas. 

The day provided a unique opportunity to share ideas with the other companies at the forefront of climate innovation. 

Plus chocolate making in the evening!

  • Tuesday - Scaling Ideas: 

Finalists attended sessions to build on the storytelling and media skills required to communicate our vision. We also learnt how to develop and use OKRs effectively under the guidance of Ryan Panchadsaram.

  • Wednesday - Exponential Thinking: 

Finalists began with morning sessions, listening to global change-makers and growth experts, such as Google X's Sarah Hunter. The day ended with a networking evening hosted by Deloitte, where we connected with advisors, market access partners and potential funders that could help scale our solutions.

  • Thursday - Movement Building: 

Global business leaders and renowned activists shared their inspiring experiences with the group, allowing the group to discuss the importance of climate innovation. 

HRH the Prince of Wales, attended the lodge in the afternoon to meet the finalists and provide encouragement on our respective journeys. We discussed the importance of innovation in the built environment and how regulation can be challenging. 

Another stand out moment was hearing from Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, environmental activist, geographer and Member of The Earthshot Prize Council. 

  • Friday - Reflection: 

On the final day, finalists reflected on our experiences of the week and compared next steps. 

It was a huge privilege to be a part of this Retreat alongside some of the world's most exciting emerging climate changemakers. The level of commitment to the cause from all finalists was inspirational and unwavering - offering a sense of urgent optimism for the future of climate innovation. 

Every thought leader and finalist we met provided a unique perspective to help us scale our solution to decarbonise the construction sector. 

The week honed our approach to develop more low carbon products for the construction sector, tackling climate change one block at a time. Here's to the next nine months under the Fellowship Programme, shaping LCM as the construction sector partner of choice for low carbon materials.

Continue reading:

For more information about Low Carbon Materials, click here.

For more information about OSTO, click here.