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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 impact of too little rain

Cracked soil, trees dropping their leaves early and forest fires across the whole of the country – these were just a few of the consequences of this summer’s drought. The plants were also affected badly by the high temperatures and lack of rain, something that was also reflected by the falling groundwater levels. At the same time, demand for drinking water hit a record high. Despite these extraordinary conditions, all of the areas supplied by REMONDIS Aqua had plenty of drinking water throughout the summer months.

  • Peak drinking water consumption was
    54 percent above the annual average this summer

Increased demand for drinking water

Many of the country’s utility companies and water associations supplied record volumes of drinking water in June and July. Around 1.81 million cubic metres of water were supplied to the company’s customers in the Lausitz region, over 360,000 cubic metres more than the average July figures of the last few years. EURAWASSER Nord GmbH, which is based in Güstrow, reported that peak daily consumption was 30 percent above the yearly average. The waterworks in Grafschaft (Rhineland-Palatinate) was, at times, supplying up to 60 percent more water than would be required on a day with normal temperatures. The volumes of drinking water consumed in Schwerin peaked on 25 July: 21,992 cubic metres were needed on that one day. The annual average here is 14,250 cubic metres. Forest fires and other types of fire further exacerbated the situation – demand for drinking water increased everywhere.

Plenty of groundwater supplies

Supplies of drinking water, however, were never in danger of drying up in any of the company’s regions, stressed REMONDIS Aqua managing director Andreas Bankamp. Groundwater supplies are well stocked. A very close eye is kept on the drinking water tanks during times of drought to make sure they are always full. At no point were supplies close to being critical. The drinking water is sourced from groundwater that replenishes itself over a very long period of time, for the most part over 50 years previously. Overuse of the groundwater supplies in the aquifers used by REMONDIS Aqua is, therefore, not to be expected, even in long periods of drought.

Water pipes checked regularly

The managers of the plants and waterworks also kept a very close eye on the water pipes. Regular inspections were carried out to make sure that the increased flow rate and the drying up of the soil did not cause the pipes to crack. This work was well worth its while as the number of burst pipes did not increase during this period.

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