Best in Class: Cleantech Construction Map 2023

Last year [2023] was the first publication of our Cleantech Construction Map, outlining our sustainability approach through open innovation across 4 focus areas contributing to the greening of the heavy industries: 

  • Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS) 
  • Hydrogen 
  • Industrial Heat 
  • Circular Economy 

Each focus area represents an opportunity area of avantgarde solutions for the decarbonization of the built environment.  

Our 2023 list named the top 25 Cleantech startups with applications for the construction industry who were top of mind for Cemex Ventures’ Investment Team and soon we will be announcing the top 2024 Cleantech startups and focus areas. But before we do, let’s take a look back at the successes of the startups in our Cleantech Construction Map 2023. 

Best in Class

2023 was a big year for Cleantech, the type of solutions that fall within our Green Construction investment focus area, despite overall venture capital funding. Investment in solutions that seek to decarbonize the built environment received the most investment (US$) within overall Contech investment, signaling not only a need for these green solutions, but also a desire to see them flourish. Here are the ‘Best in Class’ from our Cleantech Construction Map 2023:  

Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS)

  • Carbon Clean
    • December 2023 – The leader in carbon capture solutions and Cemex Ventures portfolio startup, won the COP28 Energy Transition Changemaker award for its role in the Ørsted’s FlagshipONE project, Europe’s largest eMethanol plant that seeks to capture 70,000 tons of CO2 per year when it becomes operational in 2025. The Energy Transition Changemakers initiative aims to recognize private sector collaboration in delivering innovative, scalable decarbonization projects globally, as well as demonstrate solutions to help enable and accelerate the energy transition. 
  • Carbon Upcycling
    • July 2023 – Last summer, we increased our investment in the Canadian startup Carbon Upcycling, following an initial investment in February 2022. Regardless of the ongoing collaboration between Carbon Upcycling and Cemex to establish the world’s first-commercial-scale plant that produces cement additives that sequester CO2 in industrial byproducts, in 2023 the two announced that they would aim to roll out additional carbon mitigation projects across Cemex’s EMEA, U.S., and Mexico operations. 
  • KC8
    • January 2024 – Earlier this year, KC8 was named a Top 50 Contech Startup for 2024 in the Green Construction focus area because of their leadership at the forefront of the CCUS industry and efforts to reduce CO2 in hard to abate industries. 


  • HiiROC
    • December 2023 – At the end of 2023, we increased our stake in the world leading hydrogen startup and are currently gearing up for a large-scale deployment of HiiROC’s thermal plasma electrolysis technology to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels and help decarbonize Cemex’s operations. With this strategic partnership with HiiROC, Cemex aims to initially increase its hydrogen injection capacity at its crucial cement plant at Rugby, United Kingdom and eventually deploy HiiROC’s technology gradually across its EMEA operations – maintaining our position as #1 in the use of hydrogen as an energy source in the cement industry.

Industrial Heat

  • Synhelion
    • August 2023 – In the hottest month of last year, this sizzling piece of news broke! Last year, Synhelion and Cemex made further progress in their joint effort to develop the world’s first fully solar-powered cement plant.  
  • Coolbrook
    • December 2023 – Going global, Coolbrook’s CEO Joonas Rauramo & Fernando A. González, CEO of Cemex and President of the Global Cement and Concrete Association, spoke at COP28 in Dubai in a panel discussion on ‘A Clean New Industrial Era – electrification and decarbonization of heavy industries’ to share insights, experiences, and visions on decarbonization and the potential role of electrification towards net-zero. 
  • Heatrix
    • January 2024 – Heatrix was also named a Top 50 Contech Startup for 2024 in the Green Construction focus area because of their proprietary carbon-neutral process heat that permits energy-intensive industries to harness a secure and predictable supply of high-temperature process heat from renewable sources. 
  • Electrified Thermal Solutions
    • January 2024 – Last but never the least, Electrified Thermal Solutions received a mention in our Top 50 Contech Startup 2024 list and report (Green Construction) thanks to their efforts to decarbonize industry with new electric heating and storage technologies. 

Circular Economy

  • WtEnergy
    • June 2023 – WtEnergy made notable strides in 2023. In the summer, the European Union (EU) awarded Cemex and WtEnergy a €4.4 million grant for the implementation of their novel waste-to-fuel technology utilizing synthesis gas at Cemex’s cement plant in Alicante, Spain, cataloged as “the first of its kind” project for the cement industry by the EU.
    • December 2023 – Ending the year with another bang, the European Union announced they had awarded the HYIELD Consortium a €10 million grant for the R&D to develop a Waste to Hydrogen demonstration plant that, from waste, will allow the production of green hydrogen. The HYIELD project, co-funded by the European Commission’s Horizon Europe program, aims to develop a new pathway for waste valorization and green hydrogen production and includes WtEnergy, as well as solar energy startup, Synhelion (previously mentioned). 

Cleantech in 2024

We can’t wait to bring you the top Cleantech solutions making an impact in the built environment in 2024, along with the updated focus areas of our sustainability approach. If you are a Cleantech startup with an application for the heavy-to-abate industries (e.g. construction), we encourage you to get in touch with us so we can #FosterTheConstructionRevolution together.  

We’re serious about cleaning up construction. Stay tuned for the Cleantech Construction Map 2024 coming out soon! 

Let’s keep in touch!


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