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  • Dear Readers!

    When looking at the news over the last few months, one could gain the impression that we are witnessing the beginning of the end of global business. In addition to social stability, the aim and objective of any rational government policy must nevertheless be to secure and wherever possible augment the prosperity of citizens. Trade barriers and isolationism lead in the opposite direction. That is why the punitive tariffs or even the Brexit are not the best option. We do not need less globalisation, but rather more if together we are to meet the global challenges of the future. At least the compromise that has now been achieved between the EU and the United Kingdom would appear to offer a very promising temporary solution. 

    “Tomorrow starts today“, is a slogan at REMONDIS, and as a leader in water management and recycling, we and our roughly 32,000 staff members work day in day out so as to preserve the planet as a hospitable place with a high quality of life for coming generations. To this end, we need open borders and as few barriers as possible to business at the international level. REMONDIS is a global player. We provide solutions for our industrial and municipal customers transnationally and efficiently while leveraging considerable synergies. The services we offer are both rooted at the regional level and networked internationally and are unique in terms of their variety in the water management and recycling business. REMONDIS develops many different segments at the same time and ascribes to the principle of vertical integration. Our customers have access to a combined service portfolio ranging from the collection, treatment, recycling, recovery, transport, logistics and water management all the way to industrial services in the area of repair and maintenance. Our customers and partners profit from this, thereby making a contribution to environmental and climate protection. 

    Environmental protection and raw materials management are transnational. From this angle, one could see the Chinese ban on imports of dirty plastic waste, electronic waste, waste paper and additional waste fractions as a major opportunity. With its clear raw materials strategy, the Middle Kingdom is forcing the European recycling industry to change directions. To do this, Europe needs to redouble its own efforts, however. An eco-design directive for the recyclability of products should force all manufacturers to design their products in such a manner so that they can be 100% recycled at the end of their life cycle. The recycling industry should raise the quality of all recycled material to the primary level by means of greater investments in better sorting and recovery as well as innovative new processes. In this regard as well, REMONDIS has been underscoring its role as a leader in innovation with targeted investments. One very promising new strategy is to return plastic waste to its original chemical state, so-called chemical recycling. And last but not least, policy-makers should create a system of economic incentives to foster the use of recycled raw materials by industry. The best raw material is of no use if nobody is interested in buying it. Each and every municipality and city can serve as a good example in public tenders already now and prioritise the advantage to the climate instead of focusing only on the lowest price.

    REMONDIS is at present leading the way by serving as a role model and investing in new plants and equipment.  

    We hope you enjoy reading the new edition of REMONDIS aktuell.

    Yours truly,

    Egbert Tölle

The difference between perception and reality

When the question is asked as to who should be in charge of drinking water in Germany, in the public realm and especially among representatives of municipal interests it is posited in an almost knee-jerk manner that drinking water must not be put in private hands. After asserting this, participants in discussion forums and public servants in public offices throughout Germany then like to refresh themselves with a big chug of mineral water – drinking water that is only produced by private mineral springs. Paradoxically enough, emotive truths are at times more salient than hard facts. High time to check the real facts. We did a little research at the Federal Statistics Office. The result might be a bit surprising.

Water production by public water management, mining and manufacturing industry, thermal power plants and agriculture in 2013

Where does all the drinking water actually go?

    • 25 billion cubic metres of drinking water were produced per year on average over the last few years in Germany. What is interesting about it all is that the public water supply, i.e. the actual drinking water supply, only accounts for 20.3% of this. The overwhelming share goes to power plants for cooling, for mining and manufacturing as industrial water.

    With regard to the potential water available, which is estimated at 188 billion cubic metres in Germany, a maximum of 2.7% is used for the public water supply. This would appear to refute the arguments repeatedly forwarded like some sort of mantra by large portions of the political arena as well as some sections of public opinion asserting that 100% of the water supply should be in state hands.

Water supply and water usage 2013

Local residents benefit from competition

Of course, no private enterprise can own water, as water is an elemental foodstuff that has to be available to everyone without restriction and hence belongs to everyone. But especially in developing and newly industrialising countries, it has been evident for decades how the water supply of human beings and their health suffer when government water monopolies do not apply enough capital in order to keep the supply infrastructure abreast of the state of the art in technology. Municipal partners as well as the citizens of this country can thus relax. It is not about ownership of water, but about the construction, operation and maintenance of the best possible infrastructure. Private water management is the ideal partner for this and to ensure that in the end everyone using the water tap at home and at work profits from competition for the best services and the most attractive price.

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