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  • Dear Readers!

    Even after just a few months, 2019 is already panning out to be a year full of uncertainty. We are all having to face a variety of challenges. With many of these linked to climate change and the environment, they are automatically affecting the environmental services sector as well. The impact of climate change could be felt all around the world last year with countries being struck by floods, forest fires and drought – and experts are expecting more of the same this year. Both industrial and political decision-makers and consumers across the globe are well aware that urgent measures need to be taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions – something that has been further highlighted by the young Swedish environmental activist, Greta Thunberg, who has inspired schoolchildren to take to the streets on Fridays to get adults to finally tackle this problem. This will be a mammoth task as it involves nothing less than halting the loss of biodiversity and ensuring there are sufficient supplies of natural resources for future generations. And this is precisely what REMONDIS does by recovering high quality raw materials from waste. Indeed, there is no other individual measure that is so successful at cutting greenhouse gas emissions and conserving natural resources. And this is why we see it as our task to extend the reach of our services and pass on our know-how to others – especially to other countries – to promote resource-friendly recycling activities.

    Our industry is currently undergoing a technological change that will alter the way many things are done. As the world becomes ever more digital, it is inevitable that this technology will have an impact on our everyday lives as well as on the way we do business. The spread of digitisation, however, is creating its own new set of challenges. The political environment in many regions around the world is also changing which could hamper our cross-border efforts to promote sustainable development. This, of course, also includes the uncertainty surrounding Brexit and the growing tensions between the so-called superpowers. We need the support of our politicians so that we can make the world that little bit more sustainable – whether it be the implementation of a Europe-wide landfill ban or the creation of an Ecodesign Directive that takes raw material efficiency into account as well as energy efficiency. All in all, the upcoming European Elections will be an important political milestone for Europe.

    REMONDIS is doing its utmost to turn these challenges into opportunities and to navigate through these stormy seas safely. We are marking out the way for sustainable success by investing in technology and growing our portfolio.

    You can find out more about our plans for the future by taking a look through this latest issue of REMONDIS AKTUELL – and discover how our customers can benefit from our strong and stable services in these volatile times. 

    Yours

    Egbert Tölle

A wide variety of companies need more HGV drivers

  • The whole industry has been preoccupied with the problem of how to recruit new lorry drivers for a long while now. The number of vacant truck driver positions available at recycling businesses, logistics firms and public transport companies is growing all the time.

A result of demographic change

In January 2019, the Bundesagentur für Arbeit (the job agency run by the German government) held a review of this profession to analyse to what extent there was a skills shortage in this area. The results have now officially confirmed that there is a significant lack of truck drivers available on the market. If the agency’s next review (due to be held in June 2019) mirrors the results of the first, then it may become easier to fill vacant truck driver positions with non-EU nationals. If the Bundesagentur für Arbeit determines that there is a skills shortage for a particular line of work in two back-to-back reviews, then this profession is added to a so-called positive list. This list is an overview of professions which can, in principle, be filled by people living outside the EU. The recycling sector has been calling for professional truck drivers to be added to the positive list for a long time now as demographic change has led to many firms finding it very difficult to fill these positions in many regions. No matter whether it involves kerbside collections or the collection of commercial and industrial waste, all of the supply chains in the recycling sector are based on the transport of waste. A look at the map shows that this problem is already having an impact on practically all German states.

The situation can only get worse

According to a survey carried out by the BDE [Federal Association of the German Waste Management Industry], around 65% of all recycling firms are having problems filling their vacant lorry driver positions. REMONDIS has openings for 126 truck drivers across Germany at the moment. The DSLV [German Association of Freight Forwarders and Logistics] has said that it currently needs at least another 45,000 drivers and that 30.7% of the HGV drivers in Germany are over 55 years old. Which means that the problem can only get bigger over time. Take into account the forecasts coming from the logistics and recycling industries that road freight is expected to increase by 1.4% over the next two years alone, then an already bad situation is about to get much worse.

A steady fall in the number of applicants

These figures clearly show that this particular skills shortage could create a real problem for local inhabitants as well as commercial and industrial businesses. The solution, however, is proving to be more complicated than expected. Even though recycling firms have been paying their drivers above-average salaries for many years now, there has been a worrying fall in the number of people applying for these jobs. Potential applicants are obviously not being tempted to apply even though the companies are happy to take over the costs of applying for and training to get an HGV licence (category C) and are offering a whole list of other benefits. The possibility that this profession could be added to the positive list will give the industry some breathing space. At the moment driverless lorry technology is neither safe nor reliable enough to be used on a regular basis. Until this situation changes, truck drivers will continue to play a key role in the recycling industry – transporting goods and waste and, as a result, helping to conserve natural resources and protect the environment.

  • truck drivers are needed right now according to the German Association of Freight Forwarders and Logistics – and this is a conservative estimate

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