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  • Dear Readers!

    The summer break has come to an end and people are gradually returning to work – as are the MPs in Berlin. Once again, environmental politicians are focusing on the subjects of waste management and recycling. The coalition agreement, signed by the Government in 2013, gives great importance to curbing global warming and using our planet’s natural resources efficiently and also expressly states that innovations that protect the environment, prevent climate change and preserve resources are also opportunities for economic growth. Industry specialists are well aware, however, that economic growth and more innovations are only possible if there are clear framework conditions in place that guarantee fair competition, if product responsibility is extended and if recycling targets are raised. The latter, in particular, can only be implemented if the necessary legal framework has been established so that joint kerbside collection schemes for packaging and other recyclables can be set up.

    Unfortunately, the latest draft bill for the new packaging law has failed to deliver what many had been hoping for. What we seem to have here is the eighth amendment to the Packaging Ordinance rather than a genuine recyclables law. Whilst there are a few positive approaches to remedying the current deficiencies, it does not deal with the question of whether waste made of similar materials to packaging should also be collected in recycling bins. The increased recycling targets are well below the volumes that could actually be recovered from household waste. According to the latest studies, an additional 7.8 million tonnes of raw materials could still be collected which in turn would reduce carbon emissions by a further 1.6 million tonnes. Moreover, the need for fair competition and a level playing field between the private and public sector companies has not been tackled in the draft bill either. And there is practically no mention of introducing effective ecodesign guidelines that would force manufacturers to think about how their products could be recycled when actually designing them. We must wait and see whether this draft bill actually becomes law. The private recycling sector believes that a number of improvements need to be made to the bill. Time is running out, however, with the general election coming up next year.

    REMONDIS demonstrates just what can be done with waste and how the very most can be made of these materials to curb climate change and protect the environment – such as at its Lippe Plant in Lünen. The efforts being made by the company here were officially recognised recently when KlimaExpo.NRW (a cross-departmental initiative of the state government of NRW to prevent climate change, conserve resources and achieve sustainable economic growth) added three of the Lippe Plant’s areas of expertise to its list of the twelve best projects in North Rhine-Westphalia. At this site, industrial and household waste is recycled and turned into primary products for industrial businesses, waste and residual materials are transformed into fuels and, last but by no means least, biomass is recycled or used to generate energy. These three areas of expertise alone reduce greenhouse gas emissions by around 416,000 tonnes every year – and are, therefore, getting as close as technically possible to achieving fully closed cycles. The Lippe Plant flagship project is becoming ever more effective. It is high time that this model becomes the norm so that future generations also have a planet worth living on.

    Yours

    Thomas Conzendorf

Occasion also marks the PPP’s 20th anniversary

Following the 10th anniversary of the REMONDIS Forum last year, there was yet another reason for celebrating this now traditional get-together. This year’s forum was held in Rammelsberg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to mark the 20 years’ collaboration work between the City of Goslar and EURAWASSER, a subsidiary of REMONDIS Aqua who hosted the event. “Thanks to the public private partnership, the City of Goslar is able to benefit from the company’s expertise. What is really pleasing to see is the way EURAWASSER supports the local community. It has become an important employer in the region,” commented Dr Oliver Junk, Lord Mayor of Goslar.

One event – many topics

Employer qualities, leadership skills and staff motivation – these were just a few of the catchwords that the eight distinguished speakers focused on during the REMONDIS Forum, which was held on 29 and 30 September. They discussed the importance of human capital – providing both a theoretical and practical point of view. Over the last few years, companies have found themselves facing new developments that are far more dynamic and complex than those of just a few decades ago. Digitisation, demographic change, the switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy, the change in social values, migration and the influx of refugees – many of these are having a considerable impact on both business and society and HR managers are finding themselves having to reassess the market again and again. Are these just trends or will they have a lasting effect on what they expect their employees to deliver? Is it just the large DAX corporations that are affected or is this something that other HR departments should be looking at?

  • “Thanks to the public private partnership, the City of Goslar is able to benefit from the company’s expertise. What is really pleasing to see is the way EURAWASSER supports the local community. It has become an important employer in the region.”

    Dr Oliver Junk, Lord Mayor of Goslar

Forum looks at how best to respond

  • Not every change has a big impact. Some of them are hardly noticeable. Others, though, such as digitisation, immigration and decision making, are having a huge effect on society – which is why the REMONDIS Forum in Goslar offered a great opportunity to look at different ways to react to these. Besides welcoming distinguished speakers from the worlds of politics, science and business, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, Sigmar Gabriel, held a talk about demographic change and promoting integration. Moreover, Urs Meier, a retired football referee, talked about his experiences of having to act quickly and decisively under extreme conditions.

    Digitisation, demographic change, the 'energy switch', the change in social values, migration & refugees – these are having a major impact and HR managers are having to constantly reassess the market.

    • The honorary chairman of the supervisory board of the RETHMANN Group, Norbert Rethmann, will be calling on everyone to take on responsibility and be resourceful. He will be looking back at the market and describing how REMONDIS began to see what can be learned from past developments. In contrast, Tobias Schröder, IT security specialist, will be taking a humorous look into the future when he gives his talk, “Hacking for Managers”.

      Dr Oliver Junk, Lord Mayor of Goslar

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