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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

Monitoring report provides some interesting information

Kreislaufwirtschaft Bau (KWB) – an initiative set up by the German building supplies, construction and waste management industries to promote recycling activities in the construction sector – published its latest monitoring report in the middle of February. Once again the figures presented in the report make it very clear that the contents of mineral construction and demolition waste are valuable raw materials which, when professionally treated, can be transformed into high quality aggregate.

Minimum recycling rates clearly exceeded

  • Waste from construction and demolition projects is by far the biggest waste stream produced in Europe – a waste stream generated year on year that can be recycled and converted into aggregate for the construction sector. Such recycling activities help to conserve our planet’s natural resources and sustainably increase resource efficiency. KWB’s latest monitoring report reveals that 91.2 percent of the 192 million tonnes of mineral construction waste generated in Germany in 2012 were recycled using environmentally sound processes. The recycling rate of waste from building and road construction projects was even slightly higher, clearly exceeding the future minimum recycling rate of 70 percent set out in the EU Waste Framework Directive.

    KWB’s 2015 monitoring report (german only) 
    “Download“

High quality aggregate from REMEX

REMEX, a company belonging to the REMONDIS Group, is well known for its supplies of top quality mineral aggregate. Sold under the brand name remexit®, the company markets premium recycled aggregate, whose high quality has been attested and verified in stringent tests. Their strictly defined chemical and physical properties ensure they always produce reliable results.

The different sized aggregate can be used for underground and road construction work. It is particularly suitable for creating frost protection layers and base courses or as a base for paving stones or indeed as a filler material. Moreover, recycled aggregate is increasingly being used to manufacture concrete products. The country leading the way here is the Netherlands which focuses primarily on using the material in concrete building blocks.

The climate benefits as well: construction waste can be recycled close to where it is generated and the recycled aggregate then used in local construction projects. This reduces the need for primary aggregate or construction waste to be transported over long distances – an effective way, therefore, to cut carbon emissions.  

  • “There are many good reasons for using recycled aggregate, the most important ones being that it reduces volumes of waste and conserves natural mineral resources. Both help to drive sustainability and protect our landscapes and the environment.“

    Jasmin Klöckner, Managing Director of Bundesvereinigung Recycling-Baustoffe e.V. (BRB)

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