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Microsoft is testing low-carbon concrete for its data centers

A worker smooths a sample of concrete mix in a canister that contains materials to lower the overall embodied carbon in concrete. | Image: Dan DeLong for Microsoft

To clean up some of the pollution stemming from its supply chain and data centers, Microsoft is experimenting with new kinds of concrete.

Cement, a key ingredient in concrete, happens to be a big culprit in climate change. It’s responsible for around 8 percent of carbon dioxide emissions globally. Avoiding that pollution is no easy task, especially since concrete is the most widely consumed material in the world after water. A host of startups are looking for just the right recipe to make concrete minus the carbon dioxide emissions. And Microsoft wants to be a buyer.

“Something that we can do right now and we are doing right now is shopping around. You know, concrete supplier A might have lower embodied carbon [emissions] than concrete…

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