In Memoriam for IBI Board Member and Tireless Biochar Advocate Guy Reinaud

Home / In Memoriam for IBI Board Member and Tireless Biochar Advocate Guy Reinaud

We are sad to announce the passing of Guy Reinaud (1940-2023).

We lost a great member of the biochar community, a tireless supporter of the International Biochar Initiative, and a dear friend. Guy joined the board of IBI in 2010 and brought a global industry as well as a sustainability perspective. Throughout his long career in the software and chemical industry, Guy focused on sustainability and attended the first global UN conference in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, the Earth Summit. Since that year, he served as president of Pro-Natura International, originally founded in Brazil in 1985, which he helped become an international NGO, to focus on rural development, biodiversity protection, and climate change prevention in the Developing World. At the time, Pro-Natura International was among the first ones to deploy commercial-scale pyrolysis to produce biochar for soil application in Senegal,- a technology originally designed to produce green charcoal briquettes from invasive plant species that grow along the Senegal River. Guy introduced IBI to a global network of sustainability experts in industry with deep commitments to making the world a better place. We will miss his humor, his up-beat presence in the room, and his positive outlook.

Remembrances from IBI Board Members

From IBI Board Vice Chair Lucia Brusegan: I had the pleasure to meet Guy in Paris the first time in 2017. At that time I was involved in the Biochar Plus project setting up an African network on biochar. We considered Guy as one of the most relevant players, and we asked him to join our effort. He was enthusiastic to embrace this initiative, and since then he was always pushing us towards more ambitious objectives. He has always been supportive and proactive, and when I was not enough responsive – well – he was not giving up knocking on my door until accomplishment. I remember his light-hearted approach, his tireless will to reach higher goals and his hope that something good will happen soon. I will miss his visions and I will always remember his kind words when I was going to join the IBI Board in 2019: don’t worry, you’ll be perfect, my dear.

From IBI Board Chair Kathleen Draper: I have had the honor of serving alongside Guy as an IBI Board member for several years and have met up with him in far flung places from France to China to Poland. His unfailing support for biochar has spawned interest around the world. I know he is probably proudest to know that his son and grandson are now fully committed to a similar mission with an ever-growing number of biochar projects in the Global South. His grace and charm will be missed.

From Johannes Lehmann: I remember first meeting Guy in Rio de Janeiro at the biochar conference that IBI organized in 2010. He came with an enthusiasm that was infectious. I also remember how much he loved good food,- hardly surprising as a French, but very handy when going out to dinner together in Paris. What an extraordinary person and a lovely colleague to spend time with, someone you could rely on for any help and who was available at all hours. I will miss his friendly presence dearly.

From IBI Treasurer David Wayne:  Guy brought to the IBI Board, his earlier experience of running a large international agrichemicals business, and of his efforts to build up ProNatura International.  He had a wide range of contacts at senior level and sought both to increase awareness of biochar amongst them, and to bring back to the Board, views and the possibility of large projects to which the IBI might contribute.  He expressed his opinions with reserve during formal Board meetings, but more directly in his conversations with individuals – sometimes during generous hospitality in the company of his wife Catharine.  We miss his experience and unfailing enthusiasm. 

Guy Reinaud Obituary

We are sad to announce the passing of Guy Reinaud (1940-2023).

Guy was married to Catherine Galibert since 1964, who died last September. They leave behind 2 sons (Axel and Emmanuel), a daughter (Cécile), and 9 grandchildren.

Guy was an engineer graduated from Ecole Centrale de Paris, who pioneered several fields.

From 1966 to 1973, he was Managing Director of CENTI Software. He has directed the team having produced the software of the very first microcomputer in 1970.

From 1973 to 1992, he was a senior executive at ICI (Imperial Chemical Industries) in France and Internationally. He led the promotion of Regenerative Agriculture for many years.

Since 1992, he was President of the NGO Pro-Natura International, initially founded in Brazil and specialized in innovations for rural development in tropical countries ( Among many things, Guy pioneered over the last 20 years the usage of biochar in tropical developing culture.

He sat on the Boards of several institutions like: Vigeo, IBI (International Biochar Initiative), IUCN France, Eco-Carbone, European Foundation for Sustainable Territories, JTS, Fonds Français pour la Nature et l’Environnement.

The funeral service was held on February 10th in Saint Lambert, France.