Carbon negative aggregate from O.C.O. Technology is at the heart of a statue installed in Glasgow’s Merchant Square during the current COP26 climate change conference.
Commissioned by Zurich Insurance Group (Zurich), the interactive statue represents humanity standing in a circle that represents the planet. Intended to symbolise solidarity and optimism, the aim is for people to make a pledge to join the campaigners in fighting climate change.
One space has been left vacant and, when someone steps inside the circle, they are invited to bump elbows with the figures, connecting the final piece of the circle and uniting the world in the fight against climate change. This can be done in person or virtually using an augmented reality filter*.
Designed and sculpted by Edinburgh’s Powderhall Bronze, the construction process saw 300kg of O.C.O’s manufactured limestone (M-LS) combined with other environmentally-friendly materials, including recycled plastic, to create the statue.
It is estimated that the statue, in place throughout the two-week period of COP26, includes at least 10 per cent of CO², providing a tangible showcase for the practical abilities of carbon capture.
Steve Greig, Managing Director of O.C.O Technology, said: “We are thrilled and honoured to be part of this exciting art installation and hope it will touch the hearts and minds of everyone who sees it.
“The ability to successfully capture carbon will be critical in the fight against climate change. Every year, we already capture more than 20,000 tonnes of CO², and that figure is growing annually as we expand the business.
“Our patented technology allows us to go one step further too, not just capturing the carbon but utilising it to transform waste CO² into new and innovative products, such as the artificial aggregate used in this project.
“The statue is a great example of what can be achieved and we wholeheartedly support Zurich in its celebration of people who are taking action and in creating this symbol for change.”
“We’re working with changemakers around the world to raise awareness for the environmental issues they care about most, from plastic waste to fast fashion to biodiversity loss,” said Conny Kalcher, Zurich’s Group Chief Customer Officer. “The statue recognises their work and how individual efforts add up to something much bigger. And as it’s made of material that has taken carbon out of the air it is also the ideal physical manifestation of taking action.”
With three operations across the UK O.C.O, in which Grundon Waste Management is a major investor, takes waste carbon dioxide (CO²) and blends it with Air Pollution Control residue (APCr) from the waste processing industry. Because more CO² is permanently captured than is used in the manufacturing process, M-LS has been recognised as the world’s first carbon negative aggregate.
More traditionally used in building blocks for the construction industry and low carbon building projects, M-LS is becoming increasingly sought after by developers looking for more sustainable products.