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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

Contract extended at the beginning of the year

Glasses were raised in Schwerin just recently: the water association, Zweckverband Schweriner Umland, and Wasserversorgungs- und Abwasserentsorgungsgesellschaft Schwerin mbH & Co. KG (WAG) extended their drinking water supply contract until 2035. The contract extension came into force at the beginning of the year.

A 30-year partnership

Local residents living in the 12 districts belonging to the Schweriner Umland region have been supplied with fresh, high quality drinking water from the supply networks and processing plants run by EURAWASSER’s subsidiary WAG for almost thirty years now. This successful long-standing partnership between the state capital’s drinking water supplier and the Zweckverband Schweriner Umland will, therefore, continue as before.

“It is extremely important for us to secure high quality services over a long period of time.”

Georg Ihde, Chair of Zweckverband Schweriner Umland

600,000m³ of drinking water every year

  • WAG managing director, Hanno Nispel, was delighted to see the contract extended: “A contract should be based on trust and achieve a top performance. This is exactly what the collaboration with the Zweckverband Schweriner Umland delivers.” The successful cooperation work has developed and grown over time and has also been intensified over the last few years. The result of this effective work is a new 15-year contract covering annual drinking water supplies amounting to approx. 600,000m³.

    Hanno Nispel, Managing Director WAG, Kay Cieslak, Plant Manager Zweckverband Schweriner Umland, Dr Josef Wolf, Managing Director WAG, and Georg Ihde, Chair of Zweckverband Schweriner Umland (from left to right)

Reliable supplies thanks to effective management

  • The first agreement to supply drinking water to the districts around the state capital Schwerin was signed in 1993. This has been renewed several times and the latest extension, which officially began on 01 January 2020, guarantees stability and security for a further 15 years. “It is extremely important for us to secure high quality services over a long period of time. WAG is a high-performing, reliable and very good partner both when it comes to supplying drinking water and treating wastewater,” commented Georg Ihde, chair of the water association.

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