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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

An exemplary real estate project

  • Sustainability is not only an effective way to add value to the environment but also to companies. Every sector has recognised the importance of having a verifiable and accredited sustainable set-up. Gateway Gardens, one of the biggest property developments among the European airport cities, is leading the way within the real estate and construction sectors when it comes to sustainability.

A 35-hectare site

A completely new city district is being developed in Frankfurt am Main: the ‘Gateway Gardens’ project. Due to be finished by 2021, it is located on the former US Rhein-Main Air Base, right next door to Frankfurt Airport. Whilst the majority of the developments will be office space and conference facilities, plans are also in place for a variety of hotels, shops, restaurants and leisure facilities – all in all the total floor space will amount to around 700,000m2. Once completed, this 35-hectare site will provide jobs for up to 18,000 people.

A pioneer in the real estate sector

Gateway Gardens is a joint venture between a real estate company and the City of Frankfurt. It became clear right from the very start that this new district was aiming to lead the way and become a role model for sustainable development. The project developers have been given support here by FES Frankfurter Entsorgungs- und Service GmbH. This public private partnership, owned by the city authorities and REMONDIS, developed a bespoke waste management concept for Gateway Gardens. One of its tasks, for example, is to ensure that as little waste as possible is generated during the actual construction period. At the same time, the waste that is produced is being segregated so that the very most can be made of its material and energy contents. All the building materials and the various construction processes have been integrated into the concept to guarantee the best possible results.

A competitive advantage: sustainability certificates make building projects even more attractive.

FES is also providing a wide range of services to help implement its concept – from identifying which materials need to be collected separately, to determining where the collection points should be set up, all the way through to optimising material flows. The project developers and site managers are also being given on-site advice on setting up recycling centres and deploying waste management specialists.

Sustainability provides competitive edge

“If a new building project is to be sustainable, then it is essential that it includes an innovative and efficient waste management concept,” explained Christian Tauchmann, country manager at REMONDIS International. It has been a well-known fact in the construction sector for a while now that sustainability is essential for a project to be a success. This is particularly true for real estate projects whose economic success increasingly depends on whether a sustainability certificate can be produced or not.

  • “If a new building project is to be sustainable, then it is essential that it includes an innovative and efficient waste management concept.“

    Christian Tauchmann, country manager at REMONDIS International, responsible at FES for sustainability concepts involving the construction sector

Diverse criteria need to be met

  • The most popular certificates are the LEED Certificate (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and the DGNB Certificate (awarded by the German Sustainable Building Society). A whole list of criteria must have been met, however, to qualify for one of these certificates – including a sustainable waste management concept. FES helps its customers to meet these criteria so that real estate companies can increase their chance of getting a better evaluation and so gain a decisive edge over their competitors both at home and abroad.

    The Rotex winter garden is part of a joint project between a real estate company and the City of Frankfurt

Proof of environmentally sound operations

In addition, FES can also provide its commercial and industrial customers with a sustainability certificate, which documents the contribution these businesses make towards conserving natural resources and preventing climate change. This is the world’s first and only sustainability certificate and was developed by REMONDIS and the independent institute, ATZ. It is a sensible addition to the DGNB and LEED certificates as it demonstrates how a company’s waste management concept cuts carbon emissions and reduces the consumption of primary raw materials and energy. The method of calculation is based on the life cycle assessment as per DIN EN ISO 14040. The whole of the process chain is included in the analysis – from the collection all the way through to the recycling of the materials.

Responsible urban development: FES developed a waste management concept for the Gateway Gardens project that meets the DGNB criteria.

Recognition has already been gained for the sustainability initiatives included in the Gateway Gardens project: the developers were presented with a DGNB certificate for their new district in October 2014 – the first commercial district in Germany to have been recognised by the society. This pioneering development project has, therefore, received the best possible award with the DGNB’s Gold Certificate for commercial districts.

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