The international, Finland-based chemical solutions company Kiilto has announced a strategic partnership with Betolar, a materials technology company. The new agreement will pave the way to reduced carbon emissions in the construction sector.
The construction industry is responsible for roughly 20% of global emissions; in fact, the recent IPCC report clearly states that innovation is needed if the industry is to reduce its carbon footprint. Replacing cement with a more sustainable alternative is a challenge for the entire sector. Kiilto is teaming up with Betolar, a Finland-based materials technology company, to be part of the solution.
Betolar notably developed Geoprime technology, which leverages industrial side streams to create a viable alternative to cement. Kiilto’s ambitious goal is to replace cement as a binder with this material, first in floor screeds, extending the findings of this demanding product development later further into other cementitious products.
“We are thrilled to be developing these vital new environmental solutions together. This is one giant leap forward in our journey to environmental leadership in our industry,” says Miikka Haapa-aho, Business Area Director for Construction at Kiilto.
“We see two key environmental upsides. First, replacing cement with industrial byproducts will reduce the carbon footprint of raw materials by up to one-fifth. Second, utilising side streams in the manufacture of building materials significantly reduces the use of virgin natural resources,” says Juha Leppänen, Chief Innovation Officer & Founder of Betolar.
Huge environmental potential for the entire industry
In terms of production volumes, floor screeds are one of the biggest product segments in Kiilto’s construction-solutions business. To be sure, there’s a tremendous opportunity to significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions across the entire value chain when it comes to creating a novel, environmentally friendly alternative to these types of products.
Both Kiilto and Betolar have strong product development expertise grounded firmly in scientific research. Betolar’s solutions have already been implemented successfully in the concrete industry, but floor screed is a whole new type of application for this raw material, which requires thorough research and extensive testing.
“Replacing cement is a hot topic indeed. The development of these products is neither easy nor fast, but our initial tests are promising. As a product developer, it’s fascinating and inspiring to be involved in cutting-edge RDI aimed at achieving huge environmental improvements,” comments Kiilto’s RDI Manager, Eeva Kaataja.
Collaboration strengthened by a capital investment from Kiilto Ventures
With a recent investment from Kiilto Ventures, Betolar is joining the group of other innovative companies in Kiilto Ventures’ portfolio. Kiilto Ventures’ goal is to explore innovations and partnerships that support Kiilto’s strategic goal of environmental leadership, pushing the boundaries of the current Kiilto businesses.
“We have complementary expertise, shared values and singular environmental mindset. This is a strong foundation. In addition to our capital investment, we’re very excited about the opportunity to jointly develop low-carbon solutions for the future,” says Ville Solja, Kiilto’s Chief Business Development Officer.