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  • Dear Readers!

    Everyone’s greatest wish at the moment is for life to return to normal. So let us take a look at the positive things that have happened. And there have been a great deal of them, many of which can be put down to the very good collaboration with you – our partners, friends and employees. As the year draws to a close, it is traditionally a time to take stock of the last twelve months and happily 2020 was not as bad as may have been expected considering the overall situation. At the same time, we can look ahead to 2021 with hope and optimism.

    One example is our return to the Dual System, the scheme in Germany for managing old sales packaging. Maybe some of you may remember when we withdrew our own Dual System, EKO-PUNKT, from the market in the summer of 2014 as it had become impossible to predict the legal and business risks at the time. But then the Packaging Law came into force – finally putting an end to the infinite number of amendments that were being made to the old Packaging Ordinance. Which means that the necessary framework conditions are now in place for us to return to the Dual System market. Following its first attempt (the acquisition of DSD which was unfortunately turned down by the monopolies commission), REMONDIS has now purchased RK, a Dual System that owns a full set of valid licences but, as yet, has no share of the market. Ideal conditions for us to play a role in this market again – something that is as natural for a recycling firm to do as it is for Father Christmas to wear a red hat. And so RK will become the new EKO-PUNKT Dual System. In the style of that famous film from the 80s, we’re going “Back to the future!”

    Christmas is also a time where we may traditionally make a wish. The European Commission and the German government wish to have so-called green steel, i.e. steel that is produced without fossil fuels and so emits as little CO2 as possible. Focus is being put here on “green hydrogen” as a potential climate-neutral source of energy. As with so many wishes, however, the first question is where should this green energy come from? And, above all, who should pay for it? Leaving aside the fact that there is as yet no official definition for green steel, the chances of there being sufficient supplies of green hydrogen available on the market any time soon would appear to be slim with the development towards renewable electricity generation moving so slowly. And yet, this sought-after green steel has been around for ages. It is produced from high quality scrap steel, over eight million tonnes of which is recovered and returned to production cycles by TSR using a process that is for the most part climate neutral – without having to consume land, without having to use additional resources and without having to needlessly transport material half way around the globe. Sounds almost like Christmas, but it’s true.

    Against the backdrop of all this good news, we would like to thank you all for the great collaboration work. May we take this opportunity to wish you a happy Christmas and all the very best for the coming year.

    Yours

    Thomas Conzendorf

Elected in October 2020

REMONDIS managing director Herwart Wilms was elected the new chair of the committee for raw material policies at the BDI [Federation of German Industries] in October. Marie-Christine von Hahn, Vice President of Corporate External Affairs at Aurubis AG, was appointed deputy chair of the committee.

The important topic of raw materials supply

“I’m delighted to have been elected chair of this important BDI institution. This is the first time that a representative of the recycling industry has held this position. The whole subject of raw materials supply and security is one that is often taken far too much for granted. During the first Covid-related lockdown, it became painfully clear just how dependent some industrial sectors are on getting their supplies of raw materials from abroad,” Herwart Wilms explained. “Which is why I feel it is important for me, in my new role, not just to continue to emphasise how the environment can be protected and climate change curbed when local industry uses recycled raw materials. I also need to underline how this can help the economy to become less dependent on other countries – for example in times of crises,” he continued.

“Recycling can’t replace all the virgin raw materials that are needed. There is still a lot of potential here, though. Our approach to the circular economy, for example, can be further optimised to ensure products and raw materials can be used for as long as possible.”


Herwart Wilms, REMONDIS Managing Director and Chair of the BDI Raw Materials Committee

Optimising the circular economy

  • The focus of the committee’s work shall continue to be on securing supplies of raw materials for German industrial businesses. “Recycling can’t replace all the virgin raw materials that are needed. There is still a lot of potential here, though. Our approach to the circular economy, for example, can be further optimised to ensure products and raw materials can be used for as long as possible. What’s more, we – the committee – wish to strengthen our call for trade restrictions to be scrapped and for the approval processes for extracting raw materials from local sources to continue to be sped up,” Wilms concluded. Herwart Wilms has taken over the board chair from Hans-Joachim Welsch, who led the committee for raw material policies at the BDI for many years.

    (from left to right) Sarah Hillmann, BDI consultant, Herwart Wilms, REMONDIS Managing Director and Chair of the BDI Raw Materials Committee, Matthias Wachter, Head of the BDI’s Department of Security and Raw Materials, Hans-Joachim Welsch, former Chair of the BDI Raw Materials Committee, Wolfgang Niedermark, Member of the BDI’s management team, Marie-Christine von Hahn, Vice President Corporate External Affairs at Aurubis and Deputy Chair of the BDI Raw Materials Committee

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