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CarbiCrete: Paving the way in the fight against climate change

December 7, 2023

Chris Stern ’88 and Yuri Mytko ’93 stand at the forefront of the clean tech movement, spearheading innovative solutions with a resolute commitment to forging a more sustainable world.

In a world grappling with environmental challenges, CarbiCrete, a Quebec-based sustainable company, has become a prominent figure in the sustainability arena. Their pioneering approach to mitigating carbon emissions within the concrete industry has earned them widespread recognition.

The Concrete Carbon Conundrum
Concrete, the planet’s second most consumed substance following water, presents a pressing environmental dilemma. Its production hinges heavily on cement, a major contributor to the alarming 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions. CarbiCrete, however, is leading the charge with an ingenious technological solution by replacing cement in the concrete mix with steel slag, a by-product of the steelmaking process. This groundbreaking substitution effectively eliminates the emissions tied to cement production, making their process carbon neutral. Beyond this, CarbiCrete employs waste carbon dioxide for curing products like construction blocks. This transformative step converts the entire process into a carbon-negative endeavour by permanently removing CO2 from the atmosphere, thus contributing to a more sustainable planet.

Carbicrete lab

Overcoming Entrepreneurial Hurdles
Chris and Yuri acknowledge the arduous journey of building a business from the ground up. They had to surmount an initial hurdle in educating the concrete industry about the profound environmental impact of cement. Additionally, managing the expectations of diverse stakeholders, including employees, investors, customers, and board members, is no small feat. Transparency, consistent communication, and an unwavering commitment to their objectives have proven to be the pillars of their success.

Carbicrete

Loyola: The Bedrock of Entrepreneurship
Their formative years at Loyola have left an indelible mark on Yuri and Chris. The enduring relationships and the supportive and nurturing rapport between students and teachers, a unique hallmark of the Loyola experience, have profoundly influenced their journeys. “My closest friends are those that I made at Loyola, my business partner is a Loyola grad, and my wife went to a Loyola sister-school” shares Yuri. For Chris, some of his most cherished memories are linked to the football field, and his history teacher, Mr. John Javornik who jokingly said “Stern, you come from a long line of smart people…what happened?”

Advice for Aspiring Entrepreneurs
Chris emphasizes the importance of networking and learning from seasoned founders. Actively participating in pitching contests and seeking guidance from those who have walked the entrepreneurial path are invaluable steps in the journey towards building a successful enterprise.

Carbicrete partners

Paving the Way for a Greener Tomorrow
CarbiCrete’s technology tackles greenhouse gas emissions headon, offering a path to eliminate the need for cement in concrete. Their innovation solves three critical challenges: reducing waste, curbing emissions, and removing CO2. This positions CarbiCrete as a force in the ongoing battle to decarbonize demanding industries such as steel and concrete.

The Foundation of their Passions
Chris finds joy in spending time with his children, and his passion is grounded in the pursuit of solving the climate crisis through technology, securing a brighter future for the next generation. Yuri’s passion is rooted in his love for music, family, and sports — all of which he cultivated during his time at Loyola.

Champions of Men and Women for Others 
The principle of men and women for others resonates with Yuri and Chris. It underscores the importance of recognizing one’s role within a broader community, understanding the impact of one’s actions on that community, and acknowledging the moral responsibility to act for the greater good. Through their impactful work at CarbiCrete, Yuri and Chris embody the values instilled in them at Loyola, contributing to a better and more sustainable future for all.

Originally published in the Summer/Fall 2023 edition of the Loyola Today.

Carbicrete Stern

 

Chris Stern ’88


Chris studied mechanical engineering at McGill University. He then embarked on a career in sales and business development, notably in pharmaceutical packaging equipment and automotive machining. He co-founded Pure Energies, which empowered homeowners to adopt solar energy and home conservation products, eventually selling it to NRG Energy in 2014. His path shifted when he met Mehrdad Mahoutian, who had pioneered a process for manufacturing low carbon concrete using waste streams. This encounter led Chris to venture back into the startup world, where he assumed the role of CEO and co-founder at CarbiCrete, driven by a mission to bring this technology to market.

Yuri Mytko

 

Yuri Mytko ‘93


Yuri studied liberal arts at Dawson and philosophy at McGill University. He explored law school but soon realized it was not his true calling. After gaining valuable experience in the telecommunications industry in New York and London, he returned to academia. He pursued an MBA with a focus in Marketing, Communications and Media Management at Fordham University. Upon his return to Montreal, he held roles as a fundraiser at Loyola High School and as a marketing and communications professional across diverse sectors including philanthropy, higher education, healthcare, and venture capital. Fascinated by CarbiCrete’s technology, Yuri joined forces with Chris, where he now serves as Chief Marketing Officer.

Photo credit: Courtesy of CarbiCrete

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