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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

A new head office

  • The SARIA Group moved into their new head office in September – a building which is also home to the RETHMANN Group’s administration offices. The newly renovated square in front of the building has now been named after the former long-standing chairman of the board of directors and supervisory board Norbert Rethmann, who is today the honorary chairman of the supervisory board of the RETHMANN Group. The official naming ceremony was attended by the Mayor of Selm, Mario Löhr, as well as by members of the Group’s supervisory and management boards.

Naming ceremony held by the mayor

The RETHMANN Group’s head office has been located on Werner Straße in Selm for decades now. The “Norbert-Rethmann-Platz” [Norbert Rethmann Square] next to the new head office building has now been officially named by the Mayor of Selm, Mario Löhr. During his speech, he made special mention to the close ties that both Norbert Rethmann and the Group have to Selm: “Social responsibility has always been one of your priorities. You have never forgotten your home town – helping us, for example, to keep the important landmark Burg Botzlar [Botzlar Castle]. Having had the pleasure of being able to give you the Freedom of the City back in 2015 in recognition of your great commitment to Selm, it is now a great honour to present you with the Norbert-Rethmann-Platz street sign on behalf of Selm council.”

Close ties to Selm

  • Norbert Rethmann was visibly moved by this gesture and thanked all those attending: “This is a huge honour for me. Selm is my home and – even if my wife and I now live for the most part in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and I spend much time travelling – we still have very close ties to Selm and the surrounding region. It means a great deal to me to know that this feeling is mutual.” He thanked his wife, sons and his incredibly dedicated employees for their support, all of whom, he said looking back, have worked so hard to help develop and grow the company.

    • It was a great pleasure for Norbert Rethmann (right) to take part in the naming ceremony held by Julia Löhr and Mario Löhr, Mayor of Selm (left to right)

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