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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

Tackling the challenges together

  • Self-driving shuttle buses, artificial intelligence and low-energy homes are just a few examples of the many innovations we can expect to see in the future. These will not only open up a whole range of far-reaching possibilities, they will also create some major challenges. Large cities and small towns alike will have to make changes to their infrastructure – starting with making the necessary legislation amendments all the way through to finding cost-effective ways to implement them. The worlds of business and politics will have to work together if these challenges are to be mastered in a sensible way.

Top-class speakers

  • The 14th REMONDIS Forum, which was held in the City of Schwerin for the second time on 26 September, created a perfect platform for politicians, business leaders and scientists to discuss this issue. The keynote speakers – such as TV journalist and physicist Kristina zur Mühlen, CEO of Microsoft ScaleUp Iskender Dirik and the futurologist Kai Arne Gondlach – shone a light on the current and future challenges faced by society as well as on some exciting innovations.

    • Transdev’s self-driving shuttle bus is an excellent example illustrating innovation. Transdev’s employees answered all the questions that the REMONDIS Forum guests had about self-driving technology

Discussing new solutions

  • Benedikt Winkelmann, managing director of Walter Tecyard, spoke about the promising innovations that are already available to us and how these could be implemented cost effectively and without too much effort. For example a reliable sensor solution by setting up a LoRaWan radio network. In the morning, Undersecretary Dr Heiko Geue welcomed the guests to the Schwerin Chamber of Commerce and, in the evening, the Mayor of Schwerin, Dr Rico Badenschier, greeted the approx. 250 guests at a networking event held in the Orangery at Schwerin Castle. This proved to be an excellent opportunity for everyone to continue discussing the topics looked at during the day.

  • Undersecretary Dr Heiko Geue welcomed the guests to the Schwerin Chamber of Commerce in the morning

A town with ties to REMONDIS

  • Schwerin is home to Wasserversorgungs- und Abwasserentsorgungsgesellschaft WAG, a company that has been successfully running a public private partnership with REMONDIS since 2003. The city – the capital of the German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern – has held a number of events this year to celebrate 20 years of stable drinking water supplies, which included the Mühlenscharrn waterworks opening its doors to the public. A very good reason, therefore, for the REMONDIS Forum to be held in Schwerin as well. WAG and REMONDIS Aqua provide a number of vital services including supplying drinking water and treating wastewater.

    • Iskender Dirik, CEO of Microsoft ScaleUp, took the guests on a journey into the future – under the motto “How Artificial Intelligence Will Change Our Everyday Life”

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