Frequently Asked Questions

Benefits of ecoLocked Materials®

As a concrete product manufacturer, what are my benefits?

By integrating ecoLocked Materials® with their products, concrete manufacturers contribute to long-term carbon storage in buildings. The resulting negative emissions compensate for residual emissions from the production of cement clinker and other concrete ingredients. ecoLocked Materials® customers obtain a mature and scalable solution to improve the effective climate impact of concrete, avoid regulatory costs, maintain their license to play in tenders, and respond to growing demands for climate-friendly products. All products we sell…

  1. have an externally verified negative carbon footprint.
  2. are in line with your performance requirements and the established norms and standards. While our main product line eLM Zero focuses on carbon storage, other products serve as additives allowing to achieve specific features.
  3. can be easily integrated without having to disrupt or undergo expensive retrofitting of existing production processes.
  4. are priced competitively.

As a real estate or infrastructure developer, what are my benefits?

Real estate and infrastructure developers, as well as architects, can request and incentivize the use of concrete with ecoLocked Materials® in their projects.

By doing so, individual components can be made completely carbon-neutral, while the overall footprint per m² of the entire building project is reduced. The benefits include:

  1. Enabling projects to obtain sustainability certifications, attract corporate clients with ambitious Scope 3 targets, and increase project value.
  2. Facilitated access to cheaper “green” capital and eligibility for subsidies by regulatory bodies.
  3. Using the performance benefits of ecoLocked Materials® to increase a building’s comfort and functionality (e.g., aesthetics, construction time, energy efficiency).

As a construction company, what are my benefits?

The implementation of ecoLocked Materials® has many advantages for construction companies and contractors. Some are:

  1. As the industry shifts towards climate-friendly options, developers and the public sector are looking for players experienced in working with novel materials.
  2. ecoLocked Materials® offer a path to advance your ESG agenda by tackling Scope 3 emissions and becoming a frontrunner in addressing embodied carbon.

ecoLocked's Products

Which concrete applications can ecoLocked’s solution be used for?

ecoLocked Materials® are customized for specific market segments and end-use applications. Our first product, eLM Zero, can be used both in ready-mix concrete and precast elements, including different strength classes.

The use in structural concrete currently may require a waiver or project-specific approval, depending on local regulatory requirements.

What proportion of ecoLocked Materials® are used in concrete?

That depends on our customer’s concrete performance requirements. Typically, ecoLocked Materials® are added to our customer’s concrete mixes in the range of around 1% to 5% of the total concrete mass. This amount can be efficiently integrated into our customer concrete mixes. This is made possible by using our proprietary concrete mix optimization tool coupled with our performance-optimized ecoLocked Materials®.

The resulting product is a carbon-storing and high-performing, consistent concrete that meets our customer’s expectations and delivers targeted performance improvements.

Do ecoLocked Materials® influence the functional performance of concrete?

Yes, depending on the product line and application-specific recipe, ecoLocked Materials® can have a positive impact on concrete in the following areas:

  1. improved freeze-thaw resistance
  2. increased durability and strength
  3. weight reduction for lightweight construction
  4. noise and thermal insulation
  5. pollutants absorption
  6. acceleration of curing time

Are ecoLocked Materials® safe for humans and the environment?

Yes, ecoLocked Materials®-enhanced concrete is completely safe for humans and the environment.

From an environmental perspective, we exclusively utilize EBC-certified biochar, derived from biomass residues that adhere to the REACH regulations, with limited chemical thresholds. Furthermore, our final products undergo elution testing to ensure that the user is not exposed to any hazardous materials. Moreover, studies have shown that an effective approach to reducing chemical leaching from biochar is to solidify it using cementitious binders.

From a health and safety point of view, we ensure that our products come with the necessary industry certifications and are compliant with industry standards. Research indicates that rather than leaching pollutants into the environment, biochar’s filtering properties lead to pollutant absorption thus reducing contaminants in the environments where they are used.

Does the integration of ecoLocked Materials® increase the cost of concrete?

We offer eLM at competitive prices for all major applications. eLM Zero initially comes at a small price premium, which we are decreasing over time.

Please reach out to us for a product consultation!

Are your materials approved for use in concrete/construction?

Our products are ready to be used in several precast non-structural concrete applications. In addition, depending on the project, we can obtain project-level approval for all other applications.

Before delivering, we ensure that our products' performance is in line with industry standards and customer expectations through a rigorous two-step process. First, we develop the mix design and test the performance in our lab. Then, we jointly test it in the customer's facility to validate the performance measurements.

Please reach out to us as we are constantly expanding the portfolio of applications!

Climate Impact

What does Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) technology mean?

CDR refers to technologies that reduce the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere by removing CO2 from the natural carbon cycle, through either enhanced CO2 sequestration from the atmosphere (e.g. Direct Air Captured) or by preventing the re-release into the atmosphere (e.g. Biochar Carbon Removal). 

Carbon removal technologies are distinguished by their “permanence”, that is, by the amount of time the captured CO2 stays trapped. For example, afforestation is commonly considered a low-permanence technology due to the uncertainty associated with the lifetime of a tree owing to natural and human-induced risk factors. Direct Air Capture and Biochar Carbon Removal (BCR) are two examples of long-term carbon removal technologies.

What is biochar and why does its production prevent CO2 emissions?

The biomass residues (such as wood processing waste, agricultural residue, etc.) generate CO2 emission in two ways:

  1. Via natural decay in forests, on farmlands, or landfills. These emissions are largely unaccounted for, as they only partially represent anthropogenic emissions
  2. Via combustion of the waste biomass in households, in biomass-fueled power stations, or on farmlands (e.g. crop residues such as corn stover and rice husks)

Biochar carbon removal (BCR) process prevents these emissions. The most common BCR technology is pyrolysis, whereby biomass is heated to more than 700°C without oxygen to capture carbon in the form of biochar. Experts (IPCC, FAO, ICEF) estimate that “roughly 2.5 to 5.0 Gt CO2/y could be removed from the atmosphere” through biochar carbon removal.

How does the integration of biochar in concrete affect the concrete’s carbon footprint?

Storing biochar in concrete helps to reduce its carbonfootprint in three ways:

  1. A CDR process is only considered complete once the captured carbon has been safely stored in a so-called “sink”. ecoLocked’s process turns concrete into a carbon sink thus providing that much-needed safe and durable biochar storage solution. Through this process, concrete product manufacturers and construction project owners can compensate for their scope 1-3 emissions. This process is called "insetting" as it removes and stores carbon directly in the finished product, turning it carbon-neutral or even carbon-negative.
  2. ecoLocked Materials® partially replace conventional materials in the concrete mix, such as cement and sand. By reducing the need for these emission-intensive materials, the overall CO2 footprint of the concrete is lowered.
  3. The integration of ecoLocked Materials® in concrete can improve functional properties, which can be leveraged to reduce operational emissions from buildings. For example, improving the thermal insulation properties of exterior walls reduces the need for heating and cooling, thus enhancing a building’s energy efficiency.

When is insetting beneficial for the climate?

Insetting involves investing in carbon removal and storage activities within a company's own supply chain.

While both offsetting and insetting are environmentally beneficial as long as they enable a carbon removal activity such as BCR, a key advantage of insetting is higher transparency and control over the carbon removal and storage. ecoLocked works with partners to ensure proper measurement, reporting, and verification of the performed carbon removal for you.

Nevertheless, when you have the possibility to reduce emissions from your own (scope 1 and 2) or your supplier's and customer's (scope 3) emissions, that should be a priority. Taking the concrete value chain as an example, the integration of captured biochar is possible (largely) independently of changes in production processes but should ideally be combined with the use of CO2-reduced cement.

Code of Conduct

Material selection policy / How does ecoLocked ensure sustainable sourcing of waste biomass?

Sustainable sourcing of waste biomass is key to achieving positive environmental additionality with BCR. Therefore, we have developed two sourcing criteria:

  1. ecoLocked uses residue (= true waste) biomass only and is committed to ensuring that biocarbon does not cannibalize other, potentially more value-adding uses of biomass.
  2. The use of waste biomass as a BCR feedstock must result in lower emissions vs. the alternative use within a relevant time frame for climate change.

Practically, this means, for example, that we shall not use biochar made from waste wood if that is either still usable for furniture production or could have remained in the forest ecosystem for many years without causing significant emissions.

Partner & social value chain policy

ecoLocked is committed to ethical and socially responsible business practices. We work with partners who share the same values and operate in accordance with ethical and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) standards. ecoLocked expects partners to minimize their environmental impact, treat employees and customers with respect, and conduct business with integrity.

The company reserves the right to conduct due diligence on all new partners to ensure they meet our ESG standards as we believe in working with ethical partners can help build a sustainable future.

Our take on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)

ecoLocked is dedicated to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace. The company prioritizes hiring and paying practices that promote equality and offers flexible working arrangements to accommodate the needs of parents and part-time employees. Meetings are scheduled only during core working hours to ensure everyone can participate without compromising work-life balance.

Furthermore, ecoLocked has established a process for team members to report incidents of discrimination and has selected an Ombudsperson with to provide additional support. The company also ensures their website and social media content is accessible to people with disabilities. The company continuously monitors the effectiveness of its DEI policy through both quantitative and qualitative data.