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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

Spotlight turned on resources

300 guests from the worlds of politics, science and business travelled to the CongressCentrum in Oberhausen to attend the 2018 REMONDIS Forum which had been given the motto: “Resource conservation – responsibility as an economic opportunity”. This year’s event focused on the challenges associated with the recycling of resources. How can we protect our climate? Where are we going to get affordable raw materials from in the future? Will these be enough to cover the needs of 10 billion people? It will not just be our planet that will have to tackle these challenges but each and every local authority, no matter how small their town or district may be. This will involve a delicate balancing act – ensuring they have climate-friendly structures in place while still managing their council operations cost effectively.

  • 13th REMONDIS Forum

    This was the 13th time that the REMONDIS Forum has been held and the second time in North Rhine-Westphalia, the most heavily populated state in Germany. Other venues over the years have included Berlin, Schwerin, Hagen and Cottbus. Oberhausen is the town where Wirtschaftsbetriebe Oberhausen GmbH & Co. KG (WBO) is based – a company which has been running a public private partnership with REMONDIS since 1995. This very successful collaboration offers a number of core services including waste management, street building and cleaning work as well as wastewater, drainage and flood protection services. This city was, therefore, the backdrop for this year’s forum which brought together people with a political, business or scientific background to take a closer look at some of these future issues.

    • Among the guests: Michael Sachs, Managing Director of Spezial- und Bergbau-Servicegesellschaft Lauchhammer, Susan Bandorski, Authorised Signatory of WAL Betrieb, and Bert von Garrel, Managing Director of EnergieSystemeNord (from left to right)

  • A variety of speeches

    A number of speeches had been organised which covered both specialist subjects and the current challenges facing our society. The speakers included the Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy, Oliver Wittke, who talked about the question: “Is it possible to work cost effectively and conserve resources at the same time?”. In his speech “City 4.0: PPPs as a motor for creating climate-friendly cities”, Burkhard Ulrich Drescher, former mayor of Oberhausen and managing director of Innovation City GmbH, stressed the importance of having strong collaborations between the public and private sectors to ensure that operations were transparent and that all the services needed could be delivered.

    Thomas Bergner, a Department Head at the City of Cottbus, Andreas Bankamp, Managing Director of REMONDIS Aqua, and Jörg Lange, a member of the Lausitzer Wasser Supervisory Board, enjoyed their time at the 13th REMONDIS Forum (from left to right)

A member of The Club of Rome on the rostrum

Prof. Ottmar Edenhofer, chief economist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, spoke about the challenges of the current climate policies. Prof. Christian Berg, a sustainability expert and member of the steering committee of The Club of Rome, took a look at the relationship between sustainability and innovation in his talk entitled “Sustainability – an opportunity for innovation and optimisation”.

  • The young generation also had its say

    The final speech, held by 20-year-old Felix Flinkbeiner, was one that was both inspiring and motivating. He had been awarded the Bundesverdienstkreuz [The Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany] by the Federal President Dr Frank-Walter Steinmeier earlier this year for his work as the founder of the youth initiative, Plant for the Planet. The goal of this initiative is to make people – in particular children and young adults – more aware of global justice and climate change. In his speech “Why we need a trillion trees”, Felix Flinkbeiner underlined his message to society, explaining why people must play an active role in trying to stop climate change.

    • The guests were fascinated by Felix Flinkbeiner’s passionate speech

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