Geneva, 27 May 2019: Bertrand Collomb, a major figure of French industry and former Chair of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) in 2004-2005, passed away on 24 May.
Born in 1942, Mr Collomb was a well-known French business leader with extensive experience in international business and a track record in sustainability. He started his career with the French government before joining Lafarge in 1975. He was appointed Chairman and CEO of Lafarge in 1989, then Honorary Chairman in 2007.
As Chairman of Lafarge, Mr Collomb initiated several global partnerships with NGOs on sustainable development, including with WWF, the conservation organization, on environmental preservation with a special focus on CO2 emissions reduction.
Mr Collomb had long been involved in the work of WBCSD, most notably leading the Cement Sustainability Initiative (CSI) of WBCSD. His personal involvement helped to bring about the release of the CSI's Agenda for Action, an agreement on tangible action steps backed by key companies in the sector.
As WBCSD Chair, Mr Collomb promoted enhanced dialogues between civil society, government authorities and the private sector to create global frameworks which would demonstrate business commitments to sustainability while ensuring the global competitiveness of companies.
“We are very saddened by the passing of Mr Collomb. He was one of the founding members of our Organization and was Chairman in the mid-2000s. His engagement in providing business leadership to tackle sustainability issues provided inspiration and guidance to WBCSD for more than a decade. He understood early on that the business community needed to ‘walk the talk’ and implement sustainability as a long-term strategy for success”, said Peter Bakker, President and CEO, WBCSD.
WBCSD extends its condolences to Mr Collomb’s family.