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  • Dear Readers!

    At the beginning of December, delegates from 195 UN member states and the EU travelled to Paris to try and find a compromise to curb global warming – a compromise which all countries should then honour. Their primary goal has been to find a new agreement to replace the Kyoto Protocol which ends in 2020. They had not reached the end of their deliberations when this magazine went to print but one thing has become very clear: the significance of the recycling industry as a means to preventing climate change continues to be underestimated. And yet there are so many excellent examples that demonstrate how sending waste for materials recycling not only protects our environment and conserves our dwindling supplies of natural resources but also helps to curb global warming. REMONDIS’ Lippe Plant in Lünen reduces emissions of CO2 equivalents by almost half a million tonnes every year by recycling waste and producing regenerative energy. And this is just one plant in REMONDIS’ network of approx. 500 facilities. If the whole world were to use the full potential of the raw materials and energy hidden in waste, then recycling would put an end to global warming. Logically, Klima Expo.NRW has accepted three more of REMONDIS’ areas of expertise onto its list of qualified projects following the nomination of its biogas plant in Coesfeld at the beginning of the year. These and other recycling plants and projects will help to spread the message that recycling has a long list of advantages and is one of the best ways to counteract climate change.  

    Recycled paper is one of these raw materials that can help curb global warming: it can be used as a substitute for paper made from virgin fibres and so help reduce the need to fell our trees. The following figures clearly demonstrate that sustainable forest management is not at the top of every country’s list. We are currently losing around 13 million hectares or 130,000km² of forest every single year. That is the equivalent to a forest the size of England being cut down every year. Forests are an effective way of preventing climate change as each and every tree absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere. Paper recycling helps protect our forests and probably has the biggest impact on the carbon footprint of our informed society which still turns to paper formats as their main source of information despite the presence of the Internet. REMONDIS provides the paper industry with huge supplies of high quality recycled paper, helping the sector to become more sustainable.

    Sustainability, however, starts before recycling is actually needed. The European Waste Framework Directive puts re-use in second place after waste prevention and ahead of materials recycling. It is, therefore, a logical decision for Daimler, REMONDIS and a number of other partners to set up the world’s largest second use battery storage unit made from used lithium-ion batteries at the Lippe Plant. The batteries, which will come from the growing number of electric cars, still have 90 % of their storage capacity after they can no longer be used in the vehicles – more than enough to help stabilise the grid as more and more electricity is provided by fluctuating regenerative energy sources. After approx.10 years use in this battery storage unit, the batteries can then be sent for efficient materials recycling – perfectly closing the life cycle of this product.

    We would like to thank all our friends, partners and employees for their goodwill and loyalty throughout the past year and wish them a very happy Christmas and all the very best for the New Year. 

    Yours

    Max Koettgen

Another award for the Lausitz-based company

  • Wasserverband Lausitz Betriebsführungs GmbH (WAL-Betrieb) from Senftenberg, a REMONDIS Aqua subsidiary, was one of ten companies to be presented with the 2015 Brandenburg Apprenticeship Award by the Minister of Employment, Diana Golze, in recognition of its commitment to helping young people find a future career and its high quality apprenticeship schemes. Having received an award in the past for being a particularly family-friendly business, this latest prize once again demonstrates how social responsibility and business success go hand in hand at REMONDIS.

Social responsibility and business success are not mutually exclusive at WAL-Betrieb and REMONDIS Aqua.

Praise for the company’s hands-on support

    • A total of 72 companies had put their names forward for the award. Minister President Dietmar Woidke is patron of the event. Albrecht Gerber, Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy for the German state of Brandenburg, held a speech at the awards ceremony praising the work of all the winners.

    He said WAL-Betrieb was a company that was hard to beat when it came to helping young people choose a career and made a special mention of their highly successful efforts to counteract the skills shortage. WAL-Betrieb’s close contact to the local schools clearly demonstrated its ability to think and plan ahead, he continued.

    “The schools always welcome this water company from Senftenberg with open arms. They use a variety of methods to help the schoolchildren immerse themselves in the world of water – from lively talks all the way through to simulation games. The children not only get to discover more about their own region but also learn about the interesting job opportunities offered by the water sector. For example by Wasserverband Lausitz Betriebsführung GmbH. Put in a nutshell: WAL-Betrieb is thinking well ahead about its future workforce,” Albrecht Gerber said. Helping young people also means providing them with good career prospects. Those doing an apprenticeship at WAL-Betrieb who achieve good results in their exams are guaranteed a well-paid job at the end of their course. “For the company knows that nowadays good, motivated and loyal employees are their most important raw material.” With these final words of praise, he and the Minister of Employment Diana Golze handed over the certificate to the company.

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