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  • Dear Readers!

    Whilst the energy transition “experiment” continues unabated in Germany and the large energy providers find themselves in a difficult situation as they try to find out exactly what their main business now is, REMONDIS – as a consumer – has been taking action and has come up with some innovative solutions to tackle the energy problem. We have, for example, succeeded in considerably reducing energy consumption at our dismantling centre for waste electrical and electronic equipment at the Lippe Plant in Lünen by introducing a new energy management system. Whereas, in the past, it had only been possible to see how much energy the plant was consuming as a whole, a new software system – developed by the company itself – now enables the ­consumption of each individual piece of equipment and each individual light to be recorded. One of the responses to the results generated by this new system was to exchange all the lights in the plant with state-of-the-art LEDs. This has led to more light with fewer carbon emissions and lower costs and this idea is catching on across the whole of the group. This is what we at REMONDIS believe the energy transition to be.

    REMONDIS continues to enjoy healthy growth and not only in its home region of North Rhine-Westphalia. Our family-owned company has been expanding in the countries which are on its list of “core regions”. These include, for example, neighbouring countries such as Poland to the east and the Netherlands to the west. The Dutch recycling firm, van ­Gansewinkel, recently sold its Polish operations to ­REMONDIS. Furthermore, REMONDIS acquired the business locations and activities of the Becker Group in the south of Poland. Thanks to these latest transactions, we have succeeded in expanding our range of services for our Polish customers and strengthening our position on the Polish market – one of the company’s so-called core markets. At the time of going to press, we also received the good news that our Dutch subsidiary has taken over the Dusseldorp Group. This will considerably grow REMONDIS Nederland’s operations in the Dutch recycling sector.

    According to the Federal Office for National Statistics, the total debt of the local and district authorities in Germany lay at around 140 billion euros at the end of 2014 – and this figure is likely to rise. Some councils, however, are of the opinion that they can solve this problem by remunicipalising services that, they believe, fall into the category of “vital public services”. To be able to do this though they must spend large sums of money on setting up the necessary infrastructure – an infrastructure that private sector firms already have in place and which they could offer far more cost-effectively. We know from experience that the best solution is to work together as partners, as can be seen in the City of Freiburg in the Breisgau region. The PPP model continues to be a practicable solution that unites the two worlds in the best possible way and brings the most benefits for the regional economy and the local inhabitants.

    The arrival of hundreds of thousands of refugees in Germany to escape from their war-torn homelands will mean greater challenges as well as some great opportunities for our ­country and local authorities. Let us work together in a spirit of optimism and confidence to create a better future for ­everyone living in our country. REMONDIS is there as always to help and advise its municipal partners. 

    Yours

    Ludger Rethmann

Local authorities must face ever greater challenges

Local authority budgets are being stretched to the limit. More and more towns and districts are having to cope with the task of mastering growing challenges whilst simultaneously cutting their costs. Supply and waste ­management services are also being affected by this pressure on the public purse. The latest motto: to provide top quality services without increasing charges.

PPPs keep rates and charges stable

The financial situation of German local authorities worsened last year, even though many towns and districts had been sticking to a strict policy of cutbacks. According to the ‘DStGB’ (German Association of City and District Authorities), total debt increased by a further 2.2 billion euros compared to 20131. One tried and tested method could help relieve their problem of having to provide more services with diminishing funds: public private partnerships (PPP), i.e. a business collaboration between the public and private sectors.

PPPs have been around for more than 100 years and have proven many times over that they can be a success.

PPPs have been around for more than 100 years and have proven many times over that they can be a success. They were able to demonstrate their strengths back when industrialisation began and local authorities had to set up an extensive infrastructure in their region within as short a time as possible. The advantages offered by PPPs at that time remain the same today. PPPs are still an ideal way of creating advantages for all those involved – for the councils, for their employees and for their local inhabitants. This can also be seen by the approx. 100 PPP companies, in which REMONDIS owns a share.

Cost effective & efficient

One of the most important advantages of a PPP is that it creates diverse financial benefits for local authorities – for example at the beginning of the cooperation, when the private sector partner purchases a share in the municipal company and this money flows into the municipal coffers. This is then normally followed by a period of reorganisation when more efficient and more cost-effective structures are introduced into the business – often thanks to models developed by the privately owned companies over the years in response to the competition they have had to face. These measures enable the PPP to operate more efficiently and to make savings – effectively cutting costs and improving the quality of the services at the same time. Sometimes, PPPs can collaborate together to create additional business and sales opportunities which means greater profits that directly benefit the public purse. 

A PPP with REMONDIS can make the very most of the whole of the group’s network of over 250 treatment and recycling facilities.

Innovations & investments

Being a shareholder in the business, the private sector partner invests their own capital in the PPP. This is a really important aspect for local authorities as they would find it very difficult to find the money needed for the necessary investments by themselves. This opens up new avenues for them, from which they clearly benefit. And they have a sound financial basis, as they are able to rely on the financial strength of REMONDIS as their partner.

In addition, REMONDIS can contribute to the PPP with their extensive financial expertise that can procure and release additional funds – especially for large-scale projects such as building a plant or modernising a region’s infrastructure. On top of this, the company is well-known as being one of the pioneers in its field and all its innovations and technological know-how can be put to very good use.

Expertise & resources

The company’s years of experience and wide range of expertise help to improve operations. As far as the everyday work is concerned, local authorities can use the comprehensive know-how and skills of one of the leading water and recycling companies. Moreover, they have access to the group’s logistics and plant network. A PPP with REMONDIS, therefore, can make the very most of the whole of the group’s network of over 250 treatment and recycling facilities.

Twice the expertise and more scope for investments: PPPs create a host of advantages – not only cost savings.

By the way, the official tasks, rights and fundamental responsibilities of local authorities are not affected by a PPP. This is all stipulated in detail in the various types of contract which are adjusted to meet the exact needs of the local authority and the precise tasks of the PPP. Even the question of the workforce is answered: REMONDIS guarantees to take on all the employees.

1 ‘DStGB’ [German Association of City and District Authorities], ‘Gemeinde­finanzen – Situation der Kommunen verschärft sich weiter’ [Local Government Finances – The situation faced by local governments continues to worsen], March 2015

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