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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

Certified waste management from REMONDIS

The Steigenberger Hotel Am Kanzleramt in Berlin is currently running a pilot project to develop sustainable meetings that will eventually be rolled out across the whole of the group. Hotel guests are given a conference package that includes full carbon compensation. This is just one concept resulting from the hotel’s efforts to drive sustainability and it has been helped along by REMONDIS’ bespoke certified waste management concept.

Thinking green

The 'Green Meetings by Steigenberger' concept is based on five key elements: organisation, electricity/water/heat, waste management, equipment/furnishings and catering. As far as organisation is concerned, this well-known hotel group uses the accredited ISO 14001 environmental management system. A dedicated CR officer and an environmental working group, established specifically for this project, collaborate with atmosfair to ensure the events are carbon neutral. This includes, for example, giving guests the option to use a carbon-neutral mode of transport to travel to the event, i.e. by train.

Green Meetings are truly unique in the hotel industry.

Focus was put on sustainability right from the beginning with the hotel in Berlin being planned and built in accordance with DGNB standards (German Sustainable Building Society). Since then, the building has been awarded the Gold DGNB Certificate in recognition of its sustainable and environmentally friendly design. Many factors were taken into account during the evaluation process including emissions, energy consumption and accessibility. 

The trump card: ecology

Steigenberger has made it its mission to only use electricity from renewable energy systems (hydropower); a percentage of its district heat is also from regenerative sources. Its list of environmentally friendly measures is long and includes, among others, LED lighting systems, heat exchangers, motion detectors, water saving technology, biodegradable cleaning agents and organic bed clothes. Moreover, the hotel supplies its guests with eco-friendly equipment as well as organic food (certified) and micro-filtered drinking water, which it bottles itself. Another of the hotel’s goals is to avoid unnecessary transport routes. One very special feature of the Hotel Am Kanzleramt can be found on the guests’ breakfast tables. Beehives have been placed on the roof of the hotel to promote biodiversity, so the hotel is able to serve its very own honey at breakfast and present it to the guests as a special give-away.

Ideal recycling activities

Another key factor of this green concept involves the management and recycling of waste. The goal here is not only to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by using the best possible recycling systems but also to generate carbon-neutral energy by thermally recycling residual waste that cannot be sent for materials recycling – and not only in Berlin, but in all of the Steigenberger hotels. To help them succeed, REMONDIS developed and implemented a comprehensive waste management concept that ensures recyclable materials are separated into 17 different categories – all strictly according to type. This concept has well and truly proven its worth. Today, Steigenberger is quite rightly very proud of the fact that it has the highest recycling rates in the German hotel industry. 

REMONDIS has helped Steigenberger by developing a recycling concept for its hotels that separates recyclable waste into 17 different categories.

By implementing REMONDIS’ certified waste management concept, the Steigenberger Group has succeeded in cutting carbon emissions across Germany by around 33,000 tonnes – every single year! The hotel group is now pushing forward its sustainability drive by introducing its Green Meeting Concept in Berlin with the aim of becoming the leading provider of sustainable events. By including all these value-added features, it has created a unique product giving it a decisive edge over its competitors. 

Presentation of the "Meeting Experts Green Award"

  • And it has all been well worth its while. In February 2015, the Steigenberger Hotel Am Kanzleramt was awarded the ‘Meeting Experts Green Award’ in the ‘Sustainable Events’ category – a prize initiated by the GCB German Convention Bureau e.V. and the EVVC (European Association of Event Centres). This award is presented in five different categories and given to companies and institutions operating in the events industry in Germany who have shown great commitment to the sustainability cause. Christoph Haub, key account manager at REMONDIS commented: “We are really pleased that our comprehensive recycling concept has helped grow the success of the Steigenberger Group and make it even more sustainable – in every sense of the word.“ The contribution that the Steigenberger hotels have made to protect the environment has been documented by REMONDIS in a detailed sustainability certificate.

    (from left to right) Torsten K. Schulze, General Manager Steigenberger Hotel Am Kanzleramt, and Associate Director, Thomas Schneider, are in charge of the sustainability initiative at Steigenberger. Christoph Haub (right) is a key account manager at REMONDIS and advises the Steigenberger Group on all matters involving recycling

Steigenberger caters to the highest of standards

  • For over 80 years now, the Steigenberger name has been well established among the top quality European hotels offering unparalleled hospitality and exquisite services. All of the Steigenberger hotels – whether they be of a traditional or more modern design – cater to the very highest of standards.

    The Steigenberger Hotel Am Kanzleramt is located in the very centre of Berlin, just a few minutes away from the Office of the Federal Chancellor, the Reichstag and the main train station.

    Steigenberger has now created a new flagship hotel with its Green Meeting concept – at its Hotel Am Kanzleramt in the heart of Berlin. To achieve its goals, it is relying on long-term partnerships and accredited suppliers. REMONDIS has helped it achieve the highest recycling rates of all German hotel chains thanks to its comprehensive recycling concept.

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