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  • Dear Readers!

    Once again another successful year is drawing to a close for our family-run company. This sentence, or one similar, can be read really quite often. In our case, a look back at the editorial of our 2018 Christmas issue might bring on a smile. Exactly one year ago, we spoke of the great business opportunities in both the recycling industry and the transport sector. At the time, we wrote in our editorial: “We have been able to make the most of these opportunities by taking steps to acquire DSD – Duales System Deutschland GmbH (and to purchase shares in Transdev). Both transactions must still be approved by the relevant authorities.”

    As we know today, twelve months on, the acquisition of shares in the Transdev Group worked out perfectly while the other – DSD – has, at least for the time being, been blocked by the German monopolies commission. Having assessed the packaging recycling market last year, we believed that DSD did not have a dominant market position – something that has been further underlined by the latest developments. The customer structure within the Dual System has changed dramatically since the Schwarz Group became, practically overnight, one of the five largest recycling companies after taking over Tönsmeier and expanding into the packaging market with its renamed firm, PreZero. REWE, one of the three biggest distributors of sales packaging in Germany, has changed its Dual System provider and moved to Reclay. And, on 19 November, a press release was published in the media that Aldi has also changed its provider and is now licensing its packaging with Interseroh instead of DSD. It will be interesting to see if and to what extent these latest developments will impact on the Regional Appeal Court’s ruling.

    Looking at the world of politics, 2019 has ended with the German government bringing out a concrete climate action package. The recycling industry, which has played a major – if not decisive – role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions since the introduction of the TaSi [Technical Directive on the Recycling, Treatment and Disposal of Municipal Waste] in 2005, is rubbing its eyes in disbelief having read the 22 pages. A mere 16 lines have been devoted to our industry. Perhaps they are already simply taking the positive impact we have on tackling climate change for granted? It is probably more likely that they continue to underestimate the potential of recycling to combat climate change. And there is still so much unused potential. Were the substitution rate, i.e. the share of recycled raw materials used in industrial production processes, to be doubled from the current 15% to 30%, then this alone would lead to emissions of CO2 equivalents being cut by around 60 million tonnes. The fact remains that comprehensive recycling measures will enable the climate goals to be met. Indeed, REMONDIS shows that this is possible every single day.

    With this optimistic outlook, I would like to thank you all for your great support and collaboration over the last twelve months. We wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and successful 2020.

    Yours Ludger Rethmann

Participants from over 20 countries

  • REMONDIS managers travelled to Germany from over 20 different countries to take part in the company’s International Management Meeting, which was held at Wellings Parkhotel in Kamp-Lintfort from 14 to 16 October 2019. Once again, the event proved to be a great opportunity for them to discuss the recycling industry and the latest developments in their various countries. Right from the start, the motto of the meeting – “Make change happen” – emphasised the need for businesses to adapt to changing conditions as quickly and as effectively as possible. As had been the case in the past, the growing demands of climate change were something that united everyone, no matter where in the world they were based. The increasingly tough political landscape caused by the current trend towards populism and isolationism was also a topic that led to a lively discussion, which was held in German and English and moderated by REMONDIS press spokesperson Michael Schneider.

Kicking off the meeting with a tour

The international meeting began with a tour around the Cuno gas and steam turbine power plant in Herdecke. This power station has had a turbulent history and has been on the brink of closure several times. It has, however, succeeded in holding its own by swapping over to a gas firing system – an important step considering climate change and the country’s decision to pull out of coal. Having seen this great example of a business successfully adapting to market changes, the group returned to Kamp-Lintfort, where REMONDIS board member Egbert Tölle held his opening address, officially welcoming the participants and outlining the growing challenges being faced by the Group’s international branches. The keynote here: with all due respect for the latest political, cultural and economic challenges, it is vital to never lose sight of the company’s long-term business success. Day 1 of the event was rounded off with two interesting speeches.

Speeches and discussions

Carsten Fritsch, a commodity analyst at Commerzbank AG, first spoke about the development of international commodity markets. Prof. Enzo Weber, head of the ‘Forecasts and Macroeconomic Analyses’ research department at the Institute for Employment Research (IAB), then took a macroeconomic look at the development of the job market.

It’s all about communication. Mutual understanding and an analysis of best practice cases from the different countries will inspire the participants to further develop their own business.

Much of the second day consisted of lively panel discussions that saw all of the participants joining in. A number of pressing topics were discussed such as the possible introduction of a dual system for collecting sales packaging in Russia and other countries based on the scheme currently used in Germany, in which REMONDIS plays an active role. The growing digitisation of the recycling industry was also talked through – with the introduction of Redooo in Australia and Turkey taken as a successful example.

Brexit was also discussed

  • It soon became clear that there could be no simple or standardised answers as to how REMONDIS should react to the latest political developments, such as Brexit. Business in general is becoming increasingly difficult in many countries and firms cannot simply wait for a shift in political attitude or for more favourable regulatory changes to be introduced. What is needed now is for companies to play an active role in reshaping the economic landscape and in adapting their business. The discussions continued over dinner, which was attended by REMONDIS board chair Ludger Rethmann, Thierry Mallet, board chair and CEO of the Transdev Group, and his colleagues from the board of directors and supervisory board, Antoine Colas, Henrik Behrens, Bruno Charrade, Marcos Garcia, Dr Werner Kook and Christian Schreyer. Once again, the International Management Meeting goals were more than met: networking, talking to one another and exchanging experiences with international colleagues. By seeing the bigger picture, REMONDIS will continue to be a success on the international stage as well.

    • Panel discussions were also held besides the speeches

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