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  • Dear Readers!

    2018 has been an extraordinary year for our group. There have been some great business opportunities around – in the area of recycling as well as in the global market for mobility, both in the private and public transport sector. We have been able to make the most of these opportunities by taking steps to acquire DSD (Duales System Deutschland GmbH) – as has the RETHMANN Group, which is intending to purchase shares in Transdev, a leading global operator of mobility solutions based in France. Both transactions must still be approved by the rele-vant authorities.

    As an operator and global integrator of mobility solutions, Transdev – “the mobility company” – provides eleven million passenger trips every day, connecting people and places with its efficient and environmentally friendly transport services. Transdev advises and collaborates with public authorities and private sector firms providing sustainable, safe and innovative transport solutions.

    82,000 employees serve the company’s customers and passengers in 20 countries. In 2017, it generated a turnover of 6.6 billion euros. Transdev’s operations, however, not only include trains, trams and buses. People using the ferries in Sydney to get across Sydney Harbour are also Transdev’s customers. And the company’s portfolio also has cable car networks and auto-mated minibuses. With Transdev being so important for our family-run company, it makes absolute sense for the mobility group to become the RETHMANN Group’s fourth main field of business alongside REMONDIS, Rhenus and SARIA.

    This past year has been one of the driest since records began in Germany. This has, on the one hand, led to the water levels of our rivers being much lower than normal – quite possibly the lowest levels ever – causing huge problems for inland shipping companies and their customers. On the other, it has once again turned the spotlight on the subjects of climate change and resource conservation. The Vatican is also worried about “our Common Home”. Pope Francis made it clear just how worried he is when he wrote his “Laudato si’” encyclical. REMONDIS joined a number of other family business owners to attend the first Roman Forum, which was held in the Holy City and organised by the BDE [Federal Association of the German Waste Management Industry]. During the event, the participants had a moving meeting with the Holy Father who was impressed by the initiatives of these privately run businesses to promote sustainability.

    Talking about sustainability: Meyer Werft, a shipbuilding business in Papenburg, is also focusing on sustainable production activities – and on building environmentally friendly ships having recently launched its first gas-fuelled cruise ship. This traditional company is also being supported by REMONDIS. Heading for new shores together, so to speak.

    May we take this opportunity to thank you for your great support and collaboration over the last twelve months and wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and successful New Year.

    Ihr Ludger Rethmann

  • The goal: maximum transparency

    An EU directive came into force in 2017 that makes it obligatory for listed companies with more than 500 employees to disclose non-financial information about their operations – the so-called Corporate Social Responsibility or CSR Directive. At the same time, it is becoming increasingly important for SMEs to voluntarily publish reports about their sustainability performance. No matter whether a business manufactures products or provides services, partners, customers and suppliers all expect the highest possible levels of transparency and to be able to see proof that sustainability criteria are being fulfilled. Which is why REMONDIS Thermische Abfallverwertung (also known as RETA) in Staßfurt recently had their operations reviewed in line with the Sustainability Code.

Efficient cogeneration of heat & power

    • REMONDIS Thermische Abfallverwertung GmbH in Staßfurt generates electricity and steam from waste. The electricity produced is fed into the grid and used to cover the plant’s own requirements. In addition, steam is supplied to the neighbouring soda works as process steam. By combining heat and power, the plant makes the very most of the energy contained in the waste.

    As efficiency and sustainability are both key criteria at EfW plants, RETA Staßfurt decided to take part in the Sustainability Code project, an initiative of the ITAD [Association of Thermal Waste Treatment Plants in Germany]. The Sustainability Code was developed by the German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE) and contains 20 criteria for an accredited, efficient and high quality sustainability reporting process. As part of its application, RETA Staßfurt had to complete a declaration of conformity and have two employees trained to become sustainability officers specialising in the thermal treatment of waste.

“We soon realised that we already run a very sustainable business.”

Dr Jörg von Smuda, Managing Director RETA Staßfurt

More than just environmental criteria

The process was accompanied throughout by the IfN, an institute in Münster offering sustainability training. The Sustainability Code, however, not only takes a detailed look at environmental issues. It also contains equally important criteria such as equal opportunities, employment and human rights, compliance regulations, political influence, sustainable development responsibilities and the depth of the value chain. With sustainability being at the very heart of RETA Staßfurt’s corporate philosophy, it scored points across all areas of its business. “We soon realised that we already run a very sustainable business,” explained Dr Jörg von Smuda, managing director of RETA Staßfurt, who had initiated and accompanied the accreditation process. “Our task is, therefore, to communicate this to others. The Sustainability Code is a useful way to do this,” Dr von Smuda continued.

“Calling card” can be viewed online

  • The declaration of conformity issued by the Sustainability Code can be viewed online on the RNE’s website. The results can also be found on RETA Staßfurt’s website where they are displayed in a so-called ‘sustainability calling card’, which provides a clear and simple explanation of the process. Click here to take a look at RETA Straßfurt’s declaration of conformity on the RNE’s website

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