The bridges, buildings and footpaths around you will soon keep up to 500,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, if a Fyshwick construction company has its way.
CE Construction Solutions will bring to market early next year a concrete technology that sequesters carbon dioxide while improving the strength and durability of building materials.
Chief executive Daniel Rowley said the technology represented a way to make construction more sustainable without losing the advantages of durable but emissions-heavy concrete.
"For every tonne of cement that goes into concrete you produce a tonne of carbon dioxide at the same time," he said.
"Concrete's a really smart, durable building product, but at the same time there's those CO2 emissions. The industry is now saying we can do better."
Developed by Canadian firm CarbonCure, the technology enables concrete producers to inject captured carbon dioxide into concrete during the batching process, where it mineralises and becomes permanently removed from the atmosphere.
The captured carbon dioxide improves the consistency and strength of the resulting concrete, which means less cement - the binding agent responsible for both the strength of concrete and its carbon emissions - is used to produce concrete.
CE Construction Solutions was this week named the firm's first Australian authorised distributor of the concrete technology.
Researcher Michael Lord from climate change think tank Beyond Zero Emissions said the new technology was a good interim measure, but failed to address the larger environmental impact of producing cement before it was mixed into concrete.
"The question I have is what percentage of carbon dioxide is absorbed compared to what's created in making the cement," he said.
"Most of the emissions related to concrete, like 95 per cent, come from the cement component of concrete. Most emissions are chemical, not energy-related. One way to really tackle the emissions is to use an alternative binder [to cement]."
Mr Rowley said the partnership was part of a broader shift in the cement manufacturing and construction industries towards more sustainable approaches.
"The industry's being asked by governments and investors, 'Are you putting your best foot forward?' For us, it's about being a good global citizen and helping the country meet the targets in the Paris Accord. The conversation has really shifted."
The October federal budget added $10 billion in infrastructure investment to be spent over the next four years.
Mr Rowley said there would be a vast amount of money invested in infrastructure in Australia over the next decade.
"We could build that the way we build today, or we could shift, at a relatively cost-neutral point, and embrace some technologies available, and say we've removed 500,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide doing what we were going to do anyway."
Mr Lord authored Beyond Zero Emissions' 2017 Rethinking Cement report, which proposed a plan for industrial material production without emitting carbon.
He said progress towards this goal could be accelerated if governments adopted targets in public procurement for its own purchasing of cement products, and set increasingly more stringent emissions targets for cement manufacturers.
Mr Rowley said his company's goal of removing 500,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere within the next five years using the new technology as "conservative and realistic".
CE Construction Solutions aims to start production in early 2021.