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  • Dear Readers!

    There have been waste management laws in Germany for over 40 years now. At least once a decade, politicians have made some groundbreaking decisions. The “Deponieverordnung” (Landfill Ordinance), the separate kerbside collection system for waste packaging and the “TaSi”, which bans certain materials being taken to landfill and has been acting as a role model for many countries, are all examples of how they have succeeded in systematically moving the country’s waste management sector away from landfills towards more recycling. These courageous decisions, which more often than not involve large investments, have primarily been implemented by private sector businesses but also by municipal waste management companies. We have reached that crossroads again. Germany has to decide which direction it wishes to move in and just how sustainable it wishes to become. The country’s upper house, the Bundesrat, has instructed the Government to submit a draft bill for a new recyclables law by the end of the year, presenting a unique opportunity for them to catapult German recycling activities into a completely new dimension. It is a well-known fact that waste is a source of raw materials. According to a recent INFA study, a further 95kg of recyclable materials could be collected per person per year. The signals coming from the Ministry of the Environment, however, are not particularly encouraging. Here, they are obviously thinking of limiting this new law to waste packaging and wastes made of similar materials. When recycling bins were first introduced in Germany, they were used exclusively for collecting old sales packaging. The decision to allow them to also be used for waste made of similar materials was made a while ago now and it is estimated that this move would only increase the amount of recyclables collected by an additional 5kg per person per year. At REMONDIS, we believe even this figure to be illusory as our experience from collecting, sorting and recycling the contents of the recycling bins has shown that many people are already throwing wastes made of similar materials to packaging into the bin – an intelligent move even if they are not supposed to do this. If politicians limit the new law to just this area, then it will, for the most part, be completely ineffective. We are, therefore, calling on politicians to act as visionaries and be courageous. Make the most of this unique opportunity and set ambitious collection and recycling rates. This is the only way to ensure Germany has a secure supply of raw materials and that everything possible is done to prevent climate change.

    Developing sustainability in the water and recycling sectors is just beginning in Asia. Materials recycling has been neglected in this region for far too long and has hardly been able to keep up with the exponential growth on the continent. Singapore is now looking to do more in this area. One of the latest projects of the country’s National Environmental Agency (NEA) involves a new facility to process slag from waste incineration plants and recover ferrous and non-ferrous metals at the same time. REMEX is the company responsible for building and operating it. Once again, Singapore is forging ahead and acting as a role model for other densely populated regions in Asia.

    Back in Germany, REMONDIS continues to extend its successful cooperation work with local authorities. The recently founded AWIGO Logistik GmbH is the company’s latest joint venture – a public private partnership between the administrative district of Osnabrück and REMONDIS’ regional company, REMONDIS Nord.

    As always, I hope you enjoy reading about these and the many other topics in this latest issue of REMONDIS aktuell.

    Yours

    Max Köttgen 

Responsible for 400,000 customers

  • ENERVIE – Südwestfalen Energie und Wasser AG is a regional association of energy providers based in the City of Hagen. ENERVIE was created as a result of a merger between Mark-E AG and Stadtwerke Lüdenscheid and is one of biggest regional energy suppliers in Germany. It has a large catchment area covering South Westphalia (with the towns of Hagen and Lüdenscheid) and the Märkischer Kreis district. All in all, ENERVIE supplies water, electricity, gas and heat to around 400,000 customers. Having taken over the 19.06% share in the company previously owned by RWE, REMONDIS has now joined this regional provider.

Praise for REMONDIS' expertise

On 25 August 2014, all of the municipal shareholders unconditionally approved the transfer of the shares owned by RWE Deutschland AG to REMONDIS Wasser & Energie GmbH. The company’s managing directors, Markus F. Schmidt and Andreas Bankamp, were really pleased to become part of ENERVIE. ”The fact that the municipal partners in the ENERVIE Group have been so welcoming confirms our belief that this acquisition was the right move and that we should continue to extend the work we do with utilities companies and local authorities,“ explained Markus F. Schmidt. 

REMONDIS received great support from the municipal shareholders and has been made very welcome by its new partners.

Andreas Bankamp added: ”We are particularly pleased that the company has such high levels of expertise in the area of sustainable water management which we will be able to combine with our years of know-how. Besides the treatment and supply of top quality drinking water, facilities such as pumped storage hydroelectric power stations and run of river plants will become ever more important as Germany switches its energy supply from fossils to renewables.“ 

Water + energy = life

Whilst the name ENERVIE encapsulates the service portfolio of a ‘system-relevant’ provider, it also stands for ‘energy for life’. A look at the services provided by the company clearly shows that it is not only interested in supplying energy. Besides owning shares in nine local public utility companies and regional providers, including Hagen, Lüdenscheid, Altena and Meinerzhagen, ENERVIE also operates numerous water production and supply facilities with a sales volume of over 17 million cubic metres in Hagen and Lüdenscheid alone. Other areas of operation include the Treckinghausen waterworks, which extracts drinking water from the Verse Dam, the Hengstey waterworks on the Hengstey reservoir and the Hasper Dam waterworks. There is even a salmon farm on the Hasper Dam. ENERVIE’s network of water pipes alone are around 1,300 kilometres in length; its total network reaches a length of approx. 12,500 kilometres. 

(from left to right): Erik Höhne, Board Member responsible for technology at Enervie Südwestfalen Energie und Wasser AG, Andreas Bankamp, Managing Director REMONDIS Aqua GmbH & Co. KG, Managing Director REMONDIS Wasser & Energie GmbH, Ivo Grünhagen, Board Spokes­person at Enervie Südwestfalen Energie und Wasser AG, Wilhelm Jasperneite, REMONDIS GmbH & Co. KG (Bochum, RV West), Managing Director REMONDIS Münsterland Verwaltungsgesellschaft mbH, Markus F. Schmidt, Managing Director REMONDIS Energy & Services GmbH & Co. KG, Managing Director REMONDIS Wasser & Energie GmbH, Wolfgang Struwe, Board Member at Enervie Südwestfalen Energie und Wasser AG

Water also generates energy

Wherever nature permits, ENERVIE also uses water to generate electricity. Examples of this can be found at the Finnentrop pumped storage hydroelectric power station, which – together with RWE’s Koepchenwerk – is the largest of its kind in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, and the run of river plants on the River Lenne in Werdohl and Plettenberg. ENERVIE uses the dips in the river to generate hydropower, the cleanest way to produce electricity – absolutely no CO2 to be found at all! Thanks to its commitment in the water sector, this company is popular with its customers and municipal partners alike. Around 1,500 employees provide top quality services for its more than 400,000 customers in South Westphalia generating a turnover of around 1.1 billion euros. All this means that ENERVIE is the perfect match for REMONDIS with sustainability being the most important guiding principle for both businesses.

Sustainability is top of the list of ENERVIE’s priorities.

ENERVIE has drawn up strict environmental guidelines for all its fields of business and compiled manuals for its different divisions describing how they should be implemented. Moreover, it continuously monitors its operations to ensure they are being adhered to. It is constantly looking at ways to optimise its business – such as cutting carbon emissions by installing more efficient technology in the group’s plants. In addition, ENERVIE has created incentives to encourage their customers to opt for regenerative products and technologies: for example by introducing its KlimaFair tariff and promoting energy-saving processes.

  • “We were really pleased to see the reaction of the municipal shareholders who were unanimous in their decision to allow REMONDIS to purchase a share in ENERVIE.“ 

    Markus F. Schmidt, Managing Director of REMONDIS Wasser & Energie GmbH

ENERVIE supports innovative sustainability projects

  • Just like its new shareholder, the ENERVIE Group is constantly thinking ahead and working for the future. One example here is its commitment to renewable energy, opening its first wind farm back in 2011. There are many more examples though. The opening of the group’s new head office this year will be a further demonstration of its forward-looking concept to make the cooperation work within the ENERVIE Group even more efficient. Moreover, it will be using more energy-efficient technology and renewable energy wherever possible at its new buildings – such as having solar panels on the roofs of the halls. This new concept has also meant its fleet of vehicles can be optimised, cutting fuel costs and so helping to conserve natural resources and protect the environment. This, too, is a perfect example of how committed ENERVIE is towards creating a sustainable future. Just like REMONDIS – and now they can join forces and work towards this goal together.

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