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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

The end of an era

  • The Netherlands would like to stop extracting natural gas and it is planning to close down its operations in this area by 2030 at the very latest. To be able to do this, however, it needs to come up with some viable alternatives right now. Important developments are being made in this field in Nimwegen, where ARN is heading in new directions as part of a public private collaboration project.

The question of future supply

The Netherlands is not only an important natural gas producer, it also has one of the biggest natural gas markets in Europe. The country’s decision to stop producing gas by 2030 has automatically thrown up a pressing question: where will the supplies of gas be sourced in the future? As far as Gerard van Gorkum, managing director of ARN B.V., is concerned, the answer is staring us in the face: “The demand for green energy models will grow rapidly over the coming years.” Being a supplier of climate-friendly energy, this Nimwegen-based firm is well prepared for this development.

The biogas is produced by capturing and liquefying carbon dioxide. It is then fed to market farms, reducing the amount of primary CO2 generated by these businesses.

ARN uses waste to produce energy, namely electricity, heat and biogas. Its operations not only help conserve our planet’s fossil fuel reserves, it also cuts carbon emissions by more than 62,000 tonnes every year. REMONDIS has owned a 40% share in this Dutch company since 2006. The remaining shares are owned by public bodies, with the Nimwegen regional authorities being the biggest shareholder. Thanks to this public private venture, ARN has been able to steadily grow its activities over the last few years, positioning itself more and more as a high performance energy supplier.

  • tonnes of CO2 are saved by ARN every year

Energy for several thousand households

The company’s main line of business is producing electricity and heat from incinerating waste. To be able to do this, ARN cooperates with a German partner facility that has sufficient capacities and can guarantee a reliable supply of energy. For four years now, the company has been supplying households in a number of new residential areas in Nimwegen with heat. Thousands of customers have already been connected to their network; this number will have increased to 14,000 by the end of this project. Gerard van Gorkum commented, “This project has shown that ARN is able to supply a large part of the town with sustainable energy. Plans are for further town districts to be connected to the network in the future.” A further cooperation project with REMONDIS led to an innovative digester and composting plant being built for organic waste in 2013. Unlike in Germany, the biogas produced there is not used to generate electricity but is fed into a newly developed facility that is able to process it so it has the same quality as natural gas.

  • “This project has shown that ARN is able to supply a large part of the town with sustainable energy.”

    Gerard van Gorkum, Managing Director of ARN

An important player as the region switches to green energy

  • ARN already plays a significant role in developing and implementing sustainable energy models in the region – a role that will continue to grow in importance. The company is already working on ways of delivering other forms of energy and has a number of plans besides its established business operations. There are a host of possibilities that can be explored. The gas produced by the company could, for example, be supplied to other households that are not connected to the district heat network. Alternatively, the gas could be transformed into heat which could then be distributed via the existing network. Other options include solar energy as well as transforming electrical energy into hydrogen gas.

    • Cooperation partners since 2013 (from left to right): Dr Andreas Krawczik, Managing Director of REMONDIS Niederlande, Gerard van Gorkum, Managing Director of ARN, Norbert Rethmann, Honorary Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the REMONDIS Group, and Dr Gerd Terbeck, Managing Director of REMONDIS Industrie Service Niederlande

Collaboration opens up new opportunities

The region’s efforts to switch to green energy are being helped greatly by ARN’s public private set-up. The local authorities are primarily responsible for developing their region’s energy supply. REMONDIS, however, can help drive innovations in this area and create the best possible framework conditions for long-term plans to be put in place. “The close cooperation work between the two parties enables the business to perform better and achieve more,” explained Gerard van Gorkum. One thing is certain, he said: “It’s definitely good when the public and private sectors collaborate as they can master the challenge of how to switch from fossil fuel to renewables together.”

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