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  • Dear Readers!

    Germany has set itself some ambitious goals in its move to support global efforts to reduce emissions of ozone-depleting gases – first and foremost CO2. On signing the Kyoto Protocol, the governments agreed to reduce emissions so that global temperature increases are limited to below 2 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels. According to the Federal government, Germany’s contribution is to have cut its emissions by at least 40 percent by 2020 and by 80 to 95 percent by 2050 compared to carbon emission levels in 1990. This goal should primarily be reached by extending the country’s network of renewable energy sources and increasing energy efficiency.

    Germany has set itself some ambitious goals in its move to support global efforts to reduce emissions of ozone-depleting gases – first and foremost CO2. On signing the Kyoto Protocol, the governments agreed to reduce emissions so that global temperature increases are limited to below 2 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels. According to the Federal government, Germany’s contribution is to have cut its emissions by at least 40 percent by 2020 and by 80 to 95 percent by 2050 compared to carbon emission levels in 1990. This goal should primarily be reached by extending the country’s network of renewable energy sources and increasing energy efficiency.

    The country’s simultaneous exit from nuclear power, however, has been like starting an experiment with an uncertain outcome. It has certainly got the network technicians reacting nervously to the slightest glitch in the system – as could be seen recently during the partial solar eclipse in Germany. In extreme cases, there can be fluctuations of up to fourteen gigawatts an hour – the result of the rapid growth of renewable energy sources – and these must be compensated for with electricity generated from fossil fuels. This is making it extremely difficult for the Federal government to reach its climate goals and so it is essential that moves are made to find alternative ways of cutting emissions. This is where the recycling sector can help. Aside from the fact that our sector is the only industry to have succeeded in completely turning itself around – from being an emitter of greenhouse gases as a result of sending organic material to landfill, to cutting carbon emissions through recycling and thermal treatment – there are still a number of other ways it can help prevent climate change. If the government makes the necessary adjustments now, i.e. with its new recyclables law, and ensures that the very most is made of the material and thermal potential of the recyclables in our waste, then our sector alone can achieve 6% of the 2020 climate goals. This has been proven by studies carried out by the Fraunhofer UMSICHT Institute. 

    Being one of the largest recycling, water and service companies, REMONDIS is already making an important contribution towards preventing climate change and conserving our planet’s natural resources. We would be very happy to be allowed to do even more. Introducing organic waste bins across the country is an important step towards achieving a more sustainable future. More and more often the public and private sectors are approaching each other to find ways of protecting the environment together to ensure future generations also have a world worth living in. Whilst it is certainly too early to say there has been a complete change of heart, one fact remains true: the public and private sectors are stronger when they work together – especially when they are looking to achieve ambitious goals!

    The term ‘sustainability’ may have been overused in recent years but it still depicts best the challenges that all industrial and commercial businesses must face – both now and in the future. Many of our customers have added our sustainability certificate to their business models. The Steigenberger hotel group, for example, has not only achieved the best recycling rates in their industry thanks to REMONDIS, their “Green Meeting“ concept, verified by our sustainability certificate, has given this successful hotel business a truly unique selling point. We are happy to help wherever we can! 

    Yours

    Thomas Conzendorf

A reference project for preventing climate change

  • At the beginning of the year, the project to optimise organic waste recycling activities in the district of Coesfeld was added to the list of officially recognised KlimaExpo.NRW projects. KlimaExpo.NRW is an exhibition that presents innovative, forward-looking projects across the whole of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) that aim to prevent climate change and offer a number of ecological, social and/or economic benefits. The recognition given to this collaboration project between REMONDIS and the district of Coesfeld means, therefore, that it will now act as a reference project for preventing climate change and will send an important signal to regions far beyond NRW’s borders.

  • To learn more, go to klimaexpo-nrw.de

Environmental protection hand in hand with cost savings

This organic waste recycling project in the district of Coesfeld has been deemed by the KlimaExpo.NRW to be an excellent example of an “engine for progress” for preventing climate change. Fewer fossil fuels are needed thanks to the biogas being fed into the natural gas network. That, however, is not all. “The systematic use of the energy and material contents of the organic waste has also helped to reduce waste charges. This is a particularly positive aspect as we have been able to demonstrate that environmental protection can go hand in hand with cost savings,” commented Dr Heinrich Dornbusch, senior managing director of KlimaExpo.NRW. 

High collection rates now a tradition

  • Organic waste has been collected as a separate waste stream in the district of Coesfeld for many years now and this has led to high collection rates. “Last year, we collected more than 39,000t of organic waste simply by emptying the organic waste bins in the district. That is approximately 181kg per person and must be one of the best collection rates in the country,” said Konrad Püning, head of the district council. Using the biogas as a renewable source to generate electricity and heat cuts carbon emissions by around 5,000 tonnes every year. The amount of power produced from the biogas is sufficient to supply up to 1,400 average households with heat. REMONDIS and the district of Coesfeld are, therefore, helping to secure the supply of power in the region. 

    The biogas generated at the Coesfeld plant helps to cut carbon emissions by around 5,000 tonnes every year

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