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  • Dear Readers!

    The summer break has come to an end and people are gradually returning to work – as are the MPs in Berlin. Once again, environmental politicians are focusing on the subjects of waste management and recycling. The coalition agreement, signed by the Government in 2013, gives great importance to curbing global warming and using our planet’s natural resources efficiently and also expressly states that innovations that protect the environment, prevent climate change and preserve resources are also opportunities for economic growth. Industry specialists are well aware, however, that economic growth and more innovations are only possible if there are clear framework conditions in place that guarantee fair competition, if product responsibility is extended and if recycling targets are raised. The latter, in particular, can only be implemented if the necessary legal framework has been established so that joint kerbside collection schemes for packaging and other recyclables can be set up.

    Unfortunately, the latest draft bill for the new packaging law has failed to deliver what many had been hoping for. What we seem to have here is the eighth amendment to the Packaging Ordinance rather than a genuine recyclables law. Whilst there are a few positive approaches to remedying the current deficiencies, it does not deal with the question of whether waste made of similar materials to packaging should also be collected in recycling bins. The increased recycling targets are well below the volumes that could actually be recovered from household waste. According to the latest studies, an additional 7.8 million tonnes of raw materials could still be collected which in turn would reduce carbon emissions by a further 1.6 million tonnes. Moreover, the need for fair competition and a level playing field between the private and public sector companies has not been tackled in the draft bill either. And there is practically no mention of introducing effective ecodesign guidelines that would force manufacturers to think about how their products could be recycled when actually designing them. We must wait and see whether this draft bill actually becomes law. The private recycling sector believes that a number of improvements need to be made to the bill. Time is running out, however, with the general election coming up next year.

    REMONDIS demonstrates just what can be done with waste and how the very most can be made of these materials to curb climate change and protect the environment – such as at its Lippe Plant in Lünen. The efforts being made by the company here were officially recognised recently when KlimaExpo.NRW (a cross-departmental initiative of the state government of NRW to prevent climate change, conserve resources and achieve sustainable economic growth) added three of the Lippe Plant’s areas of expertise to its list of the twelve best projects in North Rhine-Westphalia. At this site, industrial and household waste is recycled and turned into primary products for industrial businesses, waste and residual materials are transformed into fuels and, last but by no means least, biomass is recycled or used to generate energy. These three areas of expertise alone reduce greenhouse gas emissions by around 416,000 tonnes every year – and are, therefore, getting as close as technically possible to achieving fully closed cycles. The Lippe Plant flagship project is becoming ever more effective. It is high time that this model becomes the norm so that future generations also have a planet worth living on.

    Yours

    Thomas Conzendorf

The growth industries: recycling, services & water

They truly are impressive numbers and would certainly appear to point towards a future in which the structural transformation of the economy has been a complete success. The RETHMANN Group companies are once again meeting their responsibilities this year, training a total of 1,936 young people in a variety of modern professions. 611 of these apprentices joined the Group this year. They have all made a good choice as the recycling, water, industrial and municipal services sectors as well as logistics and the bio-industry all have a strong future.

Wide range of apprenticeships

The recycling sector has taken on an important role in the German economy and is creating many new jobs. More than 250,000 people already work in this industry today helping the country to achieve a more sustainable future and generating a total turnover across the country of around 70 billion euros. This development is also reflected in the apprenticeship figures at the RETHMANN Group. 380 of the new apprentices took their first step towards their new career at REMONDIS, the largest of the three sister companies, this August – more than ever before. Rhenus welcomed 212 new apprentices and SARIA nineteen. They have been able to choose from around 50 different professions, all of which will give them a strong position in the job market in the future – from the fields of chemical, motor and environmental technology, to commerce, IT, electronics and industrial metal engineering, all the way through to logistics and a variety of craftsmanship skills.

611 apprentices have taken their first step towards their new career this year

Apprentices welcomed to REMONDIS’ head office

    Norbert Rethmann, honorary chairman of the supervisory board, welcomes the new apprentices to REMONDIS’ head office

    Training to become a professional truck driver heads the list of the Top 3 professions at REMONDIS with a total of 293 apprentices. It has become a tradition to invite the new apprentices to REMONDIS’ head office and this year was no exception. On 29 July, they travelled to Lünen where they were welcomed to the company by Norbert Rethmann, honorary chairman of the supervisory board, and Frank Dohmen, Head of HR. Norbert Rethmann sketched an optimistic picture of the future, emphasising just how important the recycling sector is becoming – and not only for Germany but for the whole of our planet. The recycling, water and logistics sectors will all find themselves playing an increasingly vital role as the world’s population steadily increases and the need to conserve natural resources and curb global warming continues to grow. All those, who choose to carve out a career for themselves in one of these industries, will be able to drive sustainable development and environmental protection and have a great opportunity to enjoy a long and fulfilling career.

    Recycling, water and services are all growth industries with a strong future.

    Frank Dohmen, Head of HR at REMONDIS since the beginning of the year, also stressed just how many apprentices were taken on by this family-run company once they finished their course. More than 70 percent of all apprentices join REMONDIS as specialists in their field after successfully passing their final exams. Those interested in starting an apprenticeship at REMONDIS in 2017 can learn more by going to www.remondis-karriere.de.

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