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Don't invest unless you're prepared to lose all the money you invest. Investments through Green Angel Ventures are high-risk, and you are unlikely to be protected if something goes wrong. Take 2 mins to learn more

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Building a Greener Future: Decarbonising Construction

30 May 2023

Following the Green Angel Ventures Team’s attendance at Innovation Zero, in London last week, we were reminded of the importance of the Built Environment as a key sector in the fight against climate change.  Its prominence at Innovation Zero recognised its ability to significantly reduce carbon emissions globally, as a key climate investment vertical, where investment can make the biggest impact in supporting the decarbonisation of the wider economy, as we continue to develop and build tomorrow’s infrastructure.  

The wider sector provides real challenges in how it can decarbonise and reduce overall emissions, which also creates a fantastic opportunity for investors to target current and future capital stacks at the right products, technologies and services across the Built Environment.   The result is reduced carbon emissions across the sector and the growth of these businesses and technologies to ensure their success and future return on investment.

Investing in decarbonising the Built Environment is…

Crucial to reducing global carbon emissions

As we learned from Green Angel Ventures Chief Investment Officer in another recent talk at Alpha Wolves in London, and as featured in the portfolio focus video, the opportunities for cutting waste alone in the sector and the economic value that this delivers is attracting increasing interest from the investment community.  

Building sites in particular are known to be large sources of carbon emissions or greenhouse gas emissions. Notably, due to the large quantity of waste material which is being generated by, and sent to landfill from building sites across the world.

The infographic below illustrates the different activities where CO2 must be reduced in the built environment:

 

Source: Carbon Cure, What is Embodied Carbon?

 

Supporting urban mining and the resulting reduction in carbon emissions

One area of the sector which is attracting significant interest and investment is technology to support contractors and developers in delivering sustainable developments. This technology aims to reduce waste and emissions through tracking and monitoring materials being used on site.

At the company’s product showcase and talk on the Built Environment stage at Innovation Zero, CEO and Co-Founder of Green Angel Ventures portfolio company and software, Qualis Flow (QFlow), Brittany Harris, reminded the audience of just how much impact the sector has on global emissions with the sector contributing a staggering 40% of global carbon emissions.  

The sector as a whole also contributes around 40% of raw material consumption and around 40% of waste to landfill. So the challenges and resulting opportunities are clear. And this is where companies like QFlow are starting to make a real impact.  

The opportunity for urban mining as a concept and the tools and products which support this concept is proving attractive and underpins the QFlow software.  

 

The sector as a whole also contributes around 40% of raw material consumption and around 40% of waste to landfill.

 

The image below from Qflow demonstrates the significant amounts of Co2 emissions driven by different core building materials used in construction, for example cladding and concrete…

Source: Qualis Flow (Qflow) Website.

Qflow: A digital solution to reduce impact and emissions for developers 

Qflow’s software enables users to make informed decisions on cost, carbon and quality. Collecting real-time materials and waste data at source for construction teams, and using the resources that they already have on their building sites more efficiently, and for longer, to get maximum value and minimum environmental impact across their projects and developments. It captures a digital account of materials being delivered on site and enables companies across the construction value chain to reduce waste.  

The contractors and developers already using Qflow have already deployed the solution across dozens of sites in the UK, with the company recently expanding its reach to the US and Australia and Qflow is currently finalising a Series A round to further accelerate its growth.

 

“Where we want to get to as an industry is that we stop mining from the earth and we start working towards a way that we are constantly mining our buildings and this space. There are such opportunities in these spaces for us to start building from the resources that we already have.

 

“QFlow is that foundational data that makes understanding the impact of our industry far more straightforward, but also more cost effective, so that we understand our baseline and where we have an opportunity to make an impact and know exactly what’s going on across the supply chain”. 

 

Brittany Harris, CEO & Cofounder, Green Angel Ventures Portfolio Company, Qflow.

 

The Qflow team with some of the Green Angel Ventures team at Innovation Zero in London, on the 24th of May 2023.

A crucial sector to deliver carbon reduction targets and warrant investment

The opportunities for wider investment in the sector continue to grow and Qflow is just one of a number of Green Angel Ventures portfolio companies operating in the Built Environment industry, which have benefited from significant investment and continue to do so. We have also invested in and continue to work with Low Carbon Materials (2022 Earthshot Prize Finalist), AirEx Technologies and Coda Cloud Limited.

If as an investment community globally we are to deliver the trillions of investment that are needed to deliver an equitable climate and nature transition by 2050, the Built Environment and the innovations and technologies being developed across the sector will need to continue playing a key part.

 

“Decarbonising the built environment is a mammoth task, with investment opportunities in many different areas. This includes developing zero carbon (or even carbon negative) building materials, as Green Angel Ventures’s portfolio company Low Carbon Materials is working on; stopping the waste and monitoring carbon intensity on construction sites, as enabled by Qflow; and running buildings in the most carbon efficient way possible, including for heating and cooling – with exciting solutions such as Naked Energy’s Virtu solar collector tubes combining heat and electricity – or cutting on heat losses, with Airex’s smart ventilation systems.

 

 Antoine Pradayrol, Chief Investment Officer, Green Angel Ventures

 

Learn more about Green Angel Ventures portfolio of investments across the Built Environment and other key sectors, or get in touch with our team to discuss further.