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  • Dear Readers!

    This editorial was written and ready for print and focused primarily on the EU’s Green Deal. And then coronavirus spread around the world and the text had to be revised. Despite the current situation, though, the Green Deal remains one of the most important projects for the European circular economy. And many other things have happened as well – the question surrounding DSD, for example.

    It is now official. On 22 April 2020, the first Cartel Panel of the Higher Regional Court [Oberlandesgericht] of Düsseldorf dismissed our appeal against the Cartel Office’s decision. Their ruling surprised us as we were sure that we had the better arguments in favour of us acquiring Duales System Deutschland GmbH. But we live under the rule of law and we will, of course, accept their decision. What we need to do now is to take the time required to take a detailed look at the Panel’s reasons for dismissing our appeal and then carefully decide what our next steps should be. In light of the fact that all other major competitors operate in this market, it will be interesting to see to what extent REMONDIS will get involved in the Dual System in the future.

    It is not so easy to look ahead at the moment, though, faced with the current coronavirus emergency. When the first media reports came through on 29 December last year that China had informed the WHO that it had an unexplained cluster of people suffering from an unidentified lung disease, no one realised just how hard or how fast this virus would affect the globalised economy. It is practically impossible to estimate the costs incurred by the economy grounding to a halt as a result of the virus. And it is not just the private sector that has felt the impact. Many city and district authorities were already in financial difficulties before the crisis began. Their situation can only get worse, now that their revenue from local business tax and their takings from their local amenities have plummeted. Maybe it is time to set aside old arguments and enter into long-term partnerships with the private sector that will benefit both parties – especially when it comes to delivering essential public services. Setting up public private joint ventures dedicated to providing essential services could help mitigate the consequences of the crisis. At the end of the day, ‘a load shared is a load halved’. One positive coming from these unprecedented times is the increased sense of solidarity among the population and towards many sections of the economy. REMONDIS, too, is there to help and support its municipal partners – during this crisis more than ever.

    Past pandemics have rarely lasted longer than two years. At some stage – whether with or without a vaccine – public life and business will return to normal. This will be the moment when it will become clear to all that our planet’s biggest problem – climate change – has not solved itself. Once again, the spotlight will be turned on the European Union’s Green Deal. Looking at a list published from within the EU, there is a danger of important regulations being watered down, especially in the area of the circular economy. In contrast, the German National Academy of Sciences, Leopoldina, expressly advises against neglecting climate action and environmental protection following the Covid-19 crisis in its ad-hoc statement published on 14 April 2020. In fact, it recommends the exact opposite. The economy must be kick-started so that it can grow again and should, it says, be “guided more firmly than before by considerations of sustainability, not least because this offers vast potential for economic growth.” Climate change is and will continue to be the biggest challenge for the future and REMONDIS, being one of the leading water and recycling businesses, will continue to put forward its solutions and play an important role.

    With this in mind: stay safe and stay positive.

    Thomas Conzendorf

All sectors affected

  • The EU Commission’s Green Deal will fundamentally change the way business is done. Industrial firms, from practically all sectors, will have to adapt to new regulations and framework conditions. Appropriate services will be needed to help them make the necessary changes. Such as groundbreaking industrial cleaning solutions – a field in which BUCHEN can deliver effective support.

Industrial cleaning plays an important role

The more ambitious the plan, the more important each individual contribution becomes. An appropriate mix of measures will be required to achieve the goals of the Green Deal. Industrial cleaning work, BUCHEN’s key business, can help provide momentum here. This is particularly true when it comes to energy efficiency, as it is only possible to ensure industrial processes consume low levels of energy, emit fewer volumes of CO2 and achieve high performance levels if the production cycles are not disrupted by deposit build-up and residue.

R&D work for optimum services

  • To be able to offer an innovative range of services delivering maximum customer benefit, BUCHEN is continuously looking at further developing the equipment and machinery it uses. Its goal here is to make sure that its teams of operatives are able to apply the best techniques by making new and advanced technology available to them. Its development initiatives in this area are primarily focused on a number of points that are important for achieving a sustainable industry, one of the goals of the Green Deal: cleaning quality, safety and sustainability. Safety covers both work safety for employees as well as the safe protection of ecosystems.

    As the company’s research and development activities are key to meeting its customers’ growing requirements, they will also become increasingly more important.

    BUCHEN is driving forward technological progress by carrying out research and development work on its own as well as together with universities. The focus of these projects is on automated systems and processes. Automation is considered to be an ideal solution for industrial cleaning activities as this technology can simultaneously fulfil a number of different requirements. Top quality cleaning results can, for example, have a positive impact on the energy consumption of a customer’s business. At the same time, automated systems increase safety standards even though the work is often performed more quickly.

    Modern systems, such as 3D simulations, are part of BUCHEN’s standard equipment

Development work with specialist trials

BUCHEN is continuously and systematically screening the market to discover general technological developments that may potentially be able to be used for industrial cleaning work. Moreover, the company’s day-to-day operations create their own development opportunities – either in connection with customers’ wishes or as a result of its own practical experiences.

BUCHEN works for many energy-intensive industrial sectors, including chemicals and heavy industry.

Customer benefit, cost-effectiveness and time to market are all key criteria for these multi-stage development processes as is the aspiration to make the company’s own work processes as safe, environmentally friendly and energy efficient as possible. Modern systems, such as 3D simulations, are now part of BUCHEN’s standard equipment and create some significant benefits, especially during the conceptual and construction phases. In some cases, BUCHEN has set up its own testing stations to be able to professionally trial its prototypes in the field.

Importance continues to grow

As the company’s research and development activities are key to meeting its customers’ growing requirements, they will also become increasingly more important. BUCHEN currently has about thirty development projects a year. This work has led to twenty patent and design applications over the last five years.

The demands on service providers are increasing as regulations become stricter for manufacturers.

The company’s successes over the past few years clearly demonstrate BUCHEN’s ability to make advances and move the business forward. It has developed several innovations that have taken industrial cleaning to a completely new level. These developments have now been fully integrated into the company’s portfolio. Just a few examples here are its mobile industrial robot, its through-feed wash system and its mobile ultrasound equipment. These facilities, machines and pieces of equipment are already being used in a whole range of industrial sectors and promote energy-efficient, environmentally friendly production processes. By developing its own systems, BUCHEN is ensuring that it fulfils its tasks in the best possible way – in the interest of its customers and most certainly in line with the Green Deal.

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