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  • Dear Readers!

    The refugee crisis, caused by the war in Syria, has awakened Europe from a deep slumber. Individual member states are outdoing each other – introducing one uncoordinated measure after another as they attempt to stem the seemingly never-ending flow of people desperately seeking help. Whilst Chancellor Merkel is hoping to bring about a European solution, others are closing their borders and seriously thinking about exiting the European Union. No matter where you look, people are saying the party is over. It is time now for facts rather than emotions to be brought to the table. Germany has around 81 million inhabitants and its economy has never been so good. Approximately one million refugees had entered the country when the state elections were held in Baden-Württemberg, Saxony-Anhalt and Rhineland-Pfalz on 13 March. To use the same metaphor: if 81 people are invited to a party and they are joined by one international guest, then the party is by no means over. On the contrary, there is a great opportunity here for the new guest’s culture, experience and vitality to enhance the event and make it even more interesting. 

    As Germany’s population continues to fall, demographers are assuming that the country will need around 500,000 new immigrants every year simply to keep its social security system functioning. In the future, therefore, we may find ourselves being grateful each time a migrant decides to stay and do an apprenticeship in our country. What is needed is genuine integration. The Minister for Labour, Social Affairs and Inclusion in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Rainer Schmeltzer, recently published a brochure in four languages so that refugees could find out how the public transport system works in the district of Unna. Whilst talking to one of REMONDIS’ board members, he called on the recycling sector to do something similar. The majority of the migrants have little or no experience of using different coloured bins to separate waste. REMONDIS has stepped up to the mark and published a flyer in German, English, French, Farsi and Arabic. We would also be very pleased to receive applications from registered refugees wishing to do an apprenticeship at our company, for example to become a professional truck driver. 

    If the state of North Rhine-Westphalia were to be a country in its own right, then it would be among the top 10 European nations when it comes to population figures and economic power. The latest waste management report shows that our industry has become one of the biggest drivers of growth. Whilst traditional industries, such as coal, steel and energy, continue to decline, an ever increasing number of people are working in recycling, industrial and municipal services and water management. REMONDIS is both a driving force and the backbone of this really pleasing development. And what makes REMONDIS what it is, is its 32,000 employees who work for their local inhabitants and their municipal and industrial customers in 33 countries every single day. Looking at all this, it is a shame that politicians would appear to be paying so little attention to the IFAT exhibition which is being held in Munich from 30 May to 03 June. REMONDIS is going to be there even if the Federal Minister of the Environment is not. We look forward to seeing you there!

    Yours

    Ludger Rethmann

Business & the environment hand in hand

  • Using hydropower to generate electricity and having ambitious plans to protect nature are not mutually exclusive – as can be seen by the operations run by ENERVIE, a company in which REMONDIS owns a share. ENERVIE runs eco-friendly facilities to produce electricity and extract drinking water and also supports a salmon centre run by volunteers.

Responsible for 370,000 customers

In September 2014, REMONDIS Aqua became a shareholder in ENERVIE – Südwestfalen Energie und Wasser AG. The ENERVIE Group is one of the largest regional energy providers in Germany supplying around 370,000 customers (primarily in the south Westphalian region) with water, electricity, gas and heat.

Actively helping Germany’s switch to renewables

ENERVIE operates numerous power stations, including a pumped storage hydroelectric power station and several run-of-river plants. Using water to generate electricity is helping the country to switch its energy supply from fossils to renewables. Over the years, the company has undertaken a number of steps to improve fish stocks in the rivers. A fish ladder, for example, was built along its run-of-river plant to allow the fish to migrate upstream. This ladder makes it possible for the fish to negotiate the differences in height created by the weirs.

Working together to save the salmon

  • Moreover, ENERVIE is supporting the voluntary association “Der Atlantische Lachs e.V.” [The Atlantic Salmon], which is trying to save the Atlantic salmon by reintroducing them into rivers. Salmon stocks have been decimated over the last hundred years or so as their natural habitats have been destroyed and obstructions built along their migration paths. All this, however, should soon change. ENERVIE has made it possible for the association to set up one of the largest voluntary run salmon centres on the Hasper Dam.

    Sustainable nature conservation: ENERVIE ensures the water in the rivers is of a high quality and supports a voluntary salmon centre on the Hasper Dam.

    • The centre is located on the company’s grounds and will breed and rear the fish until they are big enough to be released into tributaries of the River Rhine. From there, they will migrate to the North Atlantic until it is time for them to return to spawn. It will still be a while before salmon become an indigenous species in Germany – but the first important steps have already been taken.

  • A voluntary salmon centre has been set up on the Hasper Dam with ENERVIE’s help

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