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  • Dear Readers!

    “I believe in horses. Automobiles are a passing phenomenon.” These are the words said to have been uttered by the German Kaiser, Wilhelm II, at the time when mobility was going through a radical change. No one can say for sure whether he really said this or not but it is a quote that is often used as an example of people badly misjudging the importance of an invention – and not just by futurologists. Today, mobility is once again undergoing a radical change. In some areas of the country, air quality has deteriorated so much that politicians, industrial businesses and consumers are being forced to rethink the way they act, in particular in large cities. The diesel scandal has simply further aggravated the situation. The first councils have begun banning old diesel cars from using the roads where air pollution is highest. At the same time, city planners are focusing almost entirely on creating living space and high quality office buildings. In contrast, tradespeople and commercial businesses, such as recycling firms, are gradually being pushed further and further outside the city. Their work though should continue to be quiet, free of dust and, wherever possible, without CO2 or NOX emissions.

    It’s definitely time to start thinking about possible alternatives. What could be better than using one of the country’s waste streams – i.e. organic waste – as a source of post-fossil fuel and, by doing so, enable waste collections to be carbon-neutral and practically free of fine particulate and NOX emissions? REMONDIS has begun a pilot project near Cologne to do just this and is currently testing six vehicles run on biogas.

    The recycling industry has a new market player: the Schwarz Group (Lidl), which has an annual turnover of EUR 96.7 billion (2017) – bigger than the whole of the German recycling sector put together. Earlier this year, the Schwarz Group’s subsidiary, Green Cycle, purchased Tönsmeier, the fifth-largest recycling company in Germany, acquiring a volume of sales three times bigger than all of the acquisitions made by REMONDIS in 2016 and 2017. Industry experts believe that the Schwarz Group will also enter Germany’s ‘Dual System’ market (kerbside collection of sales packaging) in the not too distant future.

    There is so much happening in the German recycling market at the moment – a market which, according to the “Status Report on the German Circular Economy”, has around 10,800 companies competing against each other. While none of the private sector firms has a monopoly in any area of the waste management and recycling industry, the trend towards councils renationalising waste services continues unabated leading to the creation of regional monopolies. As a result, the private sector’s share of the market is also slowly decreasing. At present, for example, its share of conventional waste collection services lies at around 50% of the overall market. As always, we hope you enjoy reading this latest issue of REMONDIS AKTUELL.


    Thomas Conzendorf

An award for the scaffolding division

No matter how often a company may be praised or receives an award, it is always something very special. Every year, REMONDIS’ industrial service providers, BUCHEN and XERVON, are presented with awards from their satisfied customers. These are primarily in recognition of their high safety standards. As was the case with BP’s ‘Believe in Zero’ Award, an international safety prize that was presented to XERVON’s scaffolding division.

    BP analyses the services performed by around 50,000 employees and contractors before selecting the winners of its ‘Believe in Zero’ Award

A multiple award winner

This newest award is the latest in a series of prizes won by these scaffolding specialists: in 2016, they received safety awards from LyondellBasell and Evonik. This was then followed in 2017 by the Safety Award from Bayer’s subsidiary, Covestro. And now they have been given the ‘Believe in Zero’ Award – an annual prize which BP presents having carried out an analysis of the services performed by around 50,000 employees and contractors. Its focus for this award is on the ideas, measures and professional conduct that help to significantly increase safety at its plants. Their client was obviously impressed by the quality of the scaffolding services provided by XERVON at its refinery in the German city of Gelsenkirchen. The XERVON specialists work as a contractor there, carrying out a wide range of scaffolding tasks, for example during shutdowns.

“The whole subject of safety is at the very core of our business – in Gelsenkirchen and wherever else we may be working.”

Klaus Thiele, Managing Director of XERVON GmbH

Best practice means greater safety

XERVON and BUCHEN pay great attention to safety no matter which task they may be performing. Indeed, both companies consider their ‘safety first’ approach to be as if not more important than their business success. Klaus Thiele, managing director of XERVON GmbH and responsible for scaffolding across Germany, commented: “The whole subject of safety is at the very core of our business – in Gelsenkirchen and wherever else we may be working.”

Expertise as a service: providing expert QHSE advice is part of both BUCHEN and XERVON’s portfolio.

Zero errors – that is the goal. To ensure they reach it, BUCHEN and XERVON are continuously looking at ways to improve their safety measures. Risks to health and safety are systematically identified and protection measures drawn up and implemented. At the same time, the companies hold a wide range of seminars and training courses to make their employees more aware of potential risks and teach them how to deal with them. An extensive programme of safety tools has also been put together that is used by the staff in their day-to-day work, such as multi-language information sheets and safety cards for the checks that have to be carried out before they begin their tasks.

Preventing work becoming routine

    • One aspect of BUCHEN and XERVON’s safety strategy is to ensure their employees are closely involved in all QHSE matters, i.e. topics covering quality, health, safety and the environment. The idea here is to strengthen their sense of responsibility as well as to hone their ability to spot risks. Special campaigns are also organised alongside the companies’ standard activities to further highlight the whole subject of safety at work.

    Top priority is given to safety during all phases of a project – including, of course, the planning stage.

    Just one example is the ‘Safer together. You. Me. All of us’ campaign, which was launched this April. One of the main reasons why BUCHEN and XERVON decided to start this comprehensive initiative was to prevent its employees becoming careless when performing routine jobs. A whole series of tools such as posters, flyers and videos are being used here to highlight a different safety issue every month. Yet another way, therefore, to ensure QHSE matters remain deeply embedded in the companies’ everyday business. Something that is essential as far as BUCHEN and XERVON are concerned, as it is only possible to uphold their excellent safety standards if each and every employee carries out their work as they should – reliably, responsibly and competently.


Accreditation in line with international standards

  • The extensive range of accreditations issued to both BUCHEN and XERVON under-line the stringent quality and safety standards followed by both companies in their daily business. Both industrial service providers have an integrated management system in line with DIN EN ISO 9001 and 14001. In addition, the companies have accreditation in accordance with the international occupational health and safety management system, SCCP, as well as the occupational health and safety guidelines, OHSAS 18001. Their QHSE organisation comprises around 60 safety specialists and over 200 safety officers.

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