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  • Dear Readers!

    “We are made wise not by the recollection of our past but by the responsibility for our future.” This piece of wisdom was uttered by the great Irish author George Bernard Shaw and it would certainly appear to be true looking at the challenges that humans are having to face today: the need to protect the environment and prevent climate change, to supply sufficient quantities of food and raw materials but to conserve our planet’s natural resources at the same time. Taking on responsibility for the future means nothing less than acting and doing business in a responsible way today so that future generations have a world that they are able to live in. Being a family-run company that is committed to sustainability in each and every sector it operates in, this is exactly what we intend to do. We have, therefore, added a new slogan to reflect this mission:
    From now on, the REMONDIS logo will appear together with the strapline ‘Working for the future’. This is not some empty promise: every day, the 30,000+ people working for REMONDIS prove this is the case by collecting, sorting and processing recyclables, by ensuring our soils are clean and full of nutrients, by supplying water and treating wastewater, by generating sustainable biogas and energy and by carrying out joint public-private sector work to keep cities clean and roads safe. REMONDIS is, therefore, working for the future right now so that our children and their descendants have urban areas and indeed a planet that are worth living in. The present gives us the opportunity to change – and change is definitely what is needed if we wish to shape the future.

    One example in the Netherlands clearly shows that our neighbours are also thinking of the future. When a Dutch municipal company sells all its commercial activities to REMONDIS, it is certainly worth asking why they decided to do this. In an interview with REMONDIS aktuell, ROVA managing director Hans Groenhuis explains how European public procurement law determines whether a company can be awarded an “in-house contract” and why it is advisable for local authorities throughout Europe to think about giving up their commercial activities altogether.

    Just how satisfied are our public sector customers and what can REMONDIS do to further improve the way it supports local authorities to provide public services? We wanted to hear details here and so we asked them. The results of the customer survey, which was carried out by an independent institute on behalf of REMONDIS, are both encouraging and an incentive at the same time. It is certainly good news when not only our regular customers express their great satisfaction with the company but also the overwhelming majority of our past customers who could well imagine working together with REMONDIS again in the future. We will not, however, be sitting back on our laurels. There is always room for improvement when it comes to serving local inhabitants. REMONDIS will be doing everything in its power to optimise its portfolio and to provide both its contractual partners and those receiving its services with the best possible solutions at fair and favourable conditions. Working for people. Working for the future. 

    I hope you enjoy reading this edition of REMONDIS aktuell.
    Yours

    Thomas Conzendorf 

Work load growing all the time

  • REMONDIS has been doing business in the Netherlands for a while now. The company has enjoyed significant growth there which can be put down to its long-term planning and stability. Since entering the market as a minority shareholder of ARN in Nijmegen in 2007, REMONDIS Nederland has strengthened its position in the country by acquiring strategic shareholdings and investing in local recycling businesses. Today, it has become a reliable business partner for both local authorities and industrial firms in the regions it operates in. ROVA, a municipal association based in Zwolle responsible for managing waste, public spaces and energy for a total of 20 districts in the Provinces of Overijssel, Gelderland, Utrecht, Drenthe and Flevoland, recently benefited from REMONDIS’ expertise. This year, ROVA handed over its commercial waste recycling activities to REMONDIS. A ground-breaking step.

An interview with the director of N.V. ROVA

  • There must be a very good reason why Zwolle-based ROVA, one of the largest municipal associations in the Netherlands – responsible for managing waste, developing public spaces, generating sustainable energy and serving almost one million of the 16.8 million people living in Holland – should have decided to sell its commercial activities to REMONDIS. REMONDIS spoke to Hans Groenhuis, chief executive of N.V. ROVA.

Interview

Mr Groenhuis, what was the reason behind your decision to hand over ROVA’s commercial waste activities to REMONDIS?

  • Hans Groenhuis: We made the conscious decision to be a municipal company. Working for private sector customers clashes with the tasks of a public sector company and the legal situation is problematic, too. We felt, therefore, that we had to act here. Now we can concentrate fully on our public sector work.

From a legal point of view, to what extent is commercial business problematic for a municipal company?

  • Hans Groenhuis: It’s all to do with the so-called in-house contracts i.e. when a public contract or public service concession agreement is awarded by a public contracting authority to a third party which is legally independent but still under the control of the contracting authority. According to EU law, there are two main criteria which must be met here. Firstly, the public authority must exercise a level of control over the entity similar to that which it exercises over its own departments and there may be no private participation in the controlled in-house entity. Secondly, the controlled in-house entity must carry out the essential part of its activities for the controlling authority. The EU Commission has ruled that no more than 10% of a municipal company’s total turnover may come from private sector business.

  • ROVA managing director, Hans Groenhuis, is ensuring the company has the right to be awarded in-house contracts in the future

And what happens if more than 10 percent of the turnover is from commercial rather than public sector business?

  • Hans Groenhuis: Then the municipal company automatically loses its right to be awarded in-house contracts and all activities must be put out to tender across Europe. This is precisely what we were looking to avoid and so we searched for a reliable partner to take over our commercial activities. REMONDIS has been operating in the Netherlands for years now and we know it is committed to the Dutch market. This is very important for our customers.

What sort of volumes are we talking about here?

  • Hans Groenhuis: When ROVA sold its activities to REMONDIS, it had been recycling around 25,000 tonnes of commercial waste. This was putting our right to in-house contracts at risk.

EU PUBLIC PROCUREMENT LAW

  • The term “in-house procurement” refers to the awarding of public contracts, building contracts or service concession agreements by a public contracting authority to a third party which is legally independent but still under the control of the contracting authority. 

    EU public procurement law states that, when it comes to in-house procurement and public-public cooperation work, 90% of all activities of the in-house entity must be carried out for the public authority or cooperation partner and only 10% carried out within the private sector market. According to a ruling of the ECJ on 19 April 2007, public contractors lose their status as an “in-house entity” if more than 10% of their business is commercial. It is, therefore, recommended that they sell their commercial business to their private sector partners to ensure they fulfil the criteria for in-house contracts.

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