WFBSC Congress 2012 themed ‘Agua, sua importania na limpeza sustentavel’
[Water, and its importance in sustainable cleaning]
“For one week Curitiba (Brazil) will be the world capital for cleaning,” stated the World Federation of Building Service Contractors’ president Adonai Aires de Arruda when officially opening the WFBSC Congress 2012. A common theme running through three days of quality presentations was the need for stakeholders to demonstrate cleaning’s vital role in public hygiene and sustainability.
Held 11 to 14 October at Curitiba’s Expo Unimed, the Congress was co-located with Brazil’s Hygiexpo cleaning industry exhibition.
Some 850 delegates from more than 20 countries attended a Congress held, appropriately, in a ‘green’ city with genuinely sustainable credentials. In-line with its ‘water’ emphasis, a number of speakers addressed this increasingly valuable resource – one that is so pertinent to the cleaning process.
WFBSC Congress 2012 was supported by a number of local and international organisations, notably major sponsors Diversey and Karcher.
The energetic personal and professional efforts of Arruda and his committee were acknowledge by all industry executives who recognised that they enhanced the WFBSC’s international stature. Both upfront and behind the scenes WFBSC’s executive vice president Andrew Large’s vigour was valued by all…
Cleaning for Health marketing
It was therefore apt Large took the presentation podium first, bringing delegates up-to-date with the WFBSC’s Cleaning for Health initiative. He reminded his audience of the global world body’s determination to act on behalf of our industry in highlighting cleaning’s importance in the health domain.
Since its 2011 Congress, the WFBSC has assessed 136 peer reviewed articles and government guides pertaining to combating infectious diseases. A report, including a guide for cleaning, was subsequently delivered in early 2012 (www.cleaning-for-health.org) .
“However, there’s still an awful lot to do,” Large emphasised. The next steps are for the industry to market this information and “embed knowledge in day-to-day systems and tools”. In turn, BSCs would have an opportunity to get prices up by justifying s skills and intellectual property.
Succession planning requires long term planning
A presentation that had delegates enthralled was Chris Cracknell’s ‘Family succession in multi-generational family businesses’. As CEO of the contract cleaning industry’s largest privately owned business, Cracknell’s experience and advice was compelling.
In essence, he stressed that family businesses must prepare children for business and leadership; and they should recruit external people for business and leadership roles. “Outside people must know (when joining a family business) they can move to the top,” said Cracknell. He emphasised ‘meritocracy’ as being a core ethos…
Among a raft of facts sourced from international research on family businesses was a statistic that average life expectancy of a family business is just 24 years.
Crystal balling change drivers
Respected for his ‘big picture’ economic assessments and the cleaning industry’s prospects, Diversey president Pedro Chidichimo’s ‘Developing operating efficiency through integrated cleaning solutions’ examined “drivers for change in this industry.
“The cleaning industry has, to-date, not experienced the same change as other industries but there are a number of mega-trends shaping our industry,” Chidichimo explained.
They include population, technology and talent developments; sustainability challenges; and economic growth.
Very upbeat, Chidichimo pointed out the burgeoning global wealth emanating largely from the new middle class in emerging markets including Asia, eastern Europe and the Middle East. “Growing wealth leads to increasing demands for finer degrees of cleanliness and high quality FM services,” he intoned.
Chidichimo pointed to significant water price hikes; more and more green buildings; and a number of technology developments. They include further growth in super concentrates, biotechnology, IT enhancements and the automation of services.
He then turned to discussing what he perceives are BSCs’ most difficult issues, notably profitable growth, which is the lifeblood of our industry.
Taking opportunities and meeting challenges
In a presentation titled ‘Smart application in cleaning; how a sustainable approach will increase productivity’, Karcher’s deputy CEO Markus Asch tackled a large subject with much competence. He was upbeat about the world cleaning industry’s prospects, nurtured by a growing customer base; the opportunities created by sustainability; and technological developments.
“The world BSC segment has grown 66 percent in the past 10 years and is now worth $225 billion per annum,” Asch noted. Some 530,000 BSCs employ 12 to 13 million people worldwide.
Like other speakers, he talked about the cost pressures faced by BSCs and their clients’ demands for maintaining (or increasing) quality for no more dollars.
He extolled BSC executives to allow technology to support their drive for efficiencies. He talked about smart technology and described certain machines, explaining that they not only cut on-site costs but also fit the sustainability brief.
Asch then examined world trends and demographics, what has happened in recent years and the fact that, “it is essential for BSCs to anticipate the future.”
For manufacturers, that means embracing ‘individualisation’. “BSCs will not accept anything other than an individual machine,” designed for specific sites and tasks.
GDPs do not measure qualitative factors such as ‘clean’
That Pulire CEO Toni D’Andrea delivered the final ‘wrap up’ presentation was so appropriate. His almost academic dissertation ‘Cleaning as an absolute value’ was acclaimed by all for its deep thinking and call to social action.
“Dignity and responsibility are intrinsic to the value of cleaning,” D’Andrea stated. He pointed out that gross domestic product (GDP) measurements neglect the services people need such cooking, community volunteering, leisure activities and, yes, cleaning.
“Governments need to consider cleanliness as a reflection of civilisation,” he emphasised.
This is a document that will receive significant media and industry exposure. It will be published in the January/February 2013 INCLEAN magazine.
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