Describe your job in a sentence.
I lead all aspects of the work related to cement at the Global Cement and Concrete Association (GCCA) , calling for a practical understanding of its chemistry, production, co-processing, data collection, and standards, as well as international climate policy, regulatory requirements, and trends. I also oversee the smooth transition of the activities of the Cement Sustainability Initiative to the GCCA.
How did you start in the cement industry?
My very first contact was as a young researcher at the University of Brussels. I then worked for two cement companies as an environmental consultant and auditor, before joining one of them, Cimenteries CBR in Belgium, as an environmental engineer. From there, I was seconded to CEMBUREAU as Issues Manager, then appointed Technical Director and subsequently Deputy Chief Executive.
What is your proudest career achievement?
There are, of course, many battles won, but it’s difficult to point at one in particular. Probably what is today my proudest career achievement is, after so many years working in the cement sector, having been selected as the first GCCA cement director!
In your view, what is the biggest challenge facing the cement industry?
Sustainability in the broad sense, i.e. striking the right balance between resources use, investments, climate change and environment, technological development, and institutional and social developments to enhance both current and future generations’ needs and aspirations.
How does the industry overcome this challenge?
All levers will be needed. There is no silver bullet but the most important thing in my view will be the whole value chain involvement: clinker, cement, concrete manufacturers, architects, builders, designers, contractors. Collaboration will be the key.
How is GCCA helping to solve this challenge?
GCCA is dedicated to developing and strengthening the sector’s contribution to sustainable construction, while demonstrating responsible industrial leadership in the manufacture and use of cement and concrete. In essence, facilitating dialogue and driving meaningful progress.
What is your favourite place – and why?
The ocean or the glaciers. I am not sure which one I prefer, probably the ocean. Anyway, both are about water and amazing landscapes. Water is in constant movement, it constantly evolves, glaciers and oceans slowly, waves somehow faster. Whenever I can, I am on the water, rowing, sailing, skiing, mountaineering… the fresh air invigorates and cleanses, I feel much better to think and work afterwards. It is my meditation.
Who do you most admire – and why?
Little girls facing adversity. I actually dedicate all my crazy rowing challenges to a charity named Plan International and their campaign ‘Because I am a girl’.
What’s new for GCCA this year?
This year is the first fully operational year for the GCCA. We have to continue to grow membership but also start implementing our work programme and establish the network with the stakeholders. So lots to do, but the support of our members and affiliates across the world is well in place.
If you could meet any historical figure, who would you meet – and why?
Eric Tabarly, one of the world’s greatest yachtsmen and innovators. During a voyage to Ireland to celebrate the anniversary of his famous boat, Pen Duick, he was struck by the boom while manoeuvring, pushed overboard and drowned. He was renowned to be fearless, refusing to wear a safety harness while at sea, and often quoted as saying ,“I know I am taking a risk but I prefer to live free on my boat”. I would like to debate that question with him, because I disagree with his view, but also discuss his amazing achievements and perspectives on innovation, which brings us back to two of the GCCA work streams I am in charge of: safety and innovation!
About Claude Loréa
Claude leads all aspects of GCCA work related to cement and oversees the transition of the activities of the Cement Sustainability Initiative to the GCCA. She joined the GCCA from European cement industry body, CEMBUREAU, where she was Deputy Chief Executive and Industrial Affairs Director.
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcement.com/special-reports/29012019/five-minutes-with-claude-lora/