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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

A jury of sixteen experts

    • Every year, the German Sustainability Award (Deutsche Nachhaltigkeitspreis) is presented by the foundation, Stiftung Deutscher Nachhaltigkeitspreis e.V., in cooperation with the Federal government. The 7th awards ceremony was held in Düsseldorf last November with 550 companies and 65 local authorities taking part in the 2014 competition. The award was presented to companies who best unite running a successful business with being socially responsible and protecting the environment. A jury of sixteen experts named REMONDIS SE & Co. KG as one of the Top 3 “most sustainable large corporations in Germany”.

A successful transformation from a waste management specialist to a supplier of raw materials

  • On nominating REMONDIS, the jury said: “Guaranteeing supplies of raw materials and simultaneously conserving natural resources are two of the biggest economic, ecological and social challenges of our times. Creating raw material cycles offers companies and locations new opportunities to add value to their business and to become more sustainable. REMONDIS has seized this opportunity with its “REMONDIS.Rohstoffwende” strategy and is focusing on developing and implementing modern and efficient recycling processes. This family run company is looking to the future and demonstrating that it can overcome the challenges of switching from natural resources to renewable raw materials. It develops concrete solutions and new methods for the recycling sector and implements these with a clear strategy. Thanks to its “REMONDIS.Rohstoffwende” programme, it has successfully transformed itself from a waste management specialist to a supplier of high quality raw materials.” 

    The award is further proof that sustainability is not some short-term trend.

    REMONDIS managing director, Herwart Wilms, really appreciated the jury’s praise. He said: “Being a family run water management and recycling company which has been looking at ways of conserving natural resources, protecting the environment and preventing climate change for decades now, sustainability has always been at the very core of our business. It is a great honour to receive this award. On behalf of our more than 30,000 employees who help ensure the success of our company remains sustainable in all senses of the word, I would like to express my thanks to the jury for naming our company one of the three most sustainable corporations in Germany this year.”

    • REMONDIS Managing Director, Herwart Wilms, together with Johannes Remmel, Minister for Climate Protection, Environment, Agriculture, Nature and Consumer Protection of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, at the awards ceremony

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