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Cleaning and facility services professionals share expertise at EFCI's 2019 Conference
Delegates and speakers from several EU Member States gathered during the European Cleaning & Facility Services Industry's 2019 Conference last month, to exchange views on innovation in the cleaning and facility services industry and on the challenges to come. The event was hailed very successful in terms of the relevant sessions and quality of the presentations.
EFCI held its 10th Conference 'Cleaning and Facility Services: shaping the industry of the future' in the iconic conference centre 'The Square', in the heart of Brussels, which marked the modernisation of the Federation and reunited more than 100 representatives from European Institutions, EFCI's stakeholders and experts from the sector.
It provided a reflection point for our growing industry while giving participants the necessary tools to prepare for the challenges ahead.
The programme allowed interesting exchanges on the topic of innovation, around four roundtables:
* 'An industry in evolution', during which EFCI's trend report, 'The cleaning industry in Europe 1995-2016', was presented and analysed;
* 'Innovating in a labour-intensive industry', during which social aspects of digitalisation and CSR were discussed;
* 'An innovative value chain', during which policymakers, industry representatives and clients presented its visions on where to put the accent on innovation;
* 'C for circular economy', during which an MEP, the European Commission and industry representatives explained how facility services can better integrate in the circular economy and how can it provide business value.
* Barry Kitz (hkp//Remunet Group) presenting the main figures of EFCI's Trend Report, underlining an "impressive growth from the industry between 1995 and 2016: turnover tripled to €107 billion and employment increased by 80 %!".
* Sergio Verdasco (chief sales and marketing officer at Ilunion Facility Services) saying that, "It is possible to create successful business models departing from a deeply responsible and integration-based model".
* Member of the European Parliament Simona Bonafè explaining that the Circular Economy is, "a change of paradigm compared to the actual situation, and it needs innovation and investment, but it is a unique opportunity to create business value and attractiveness for services. We want to see your facility services industry really involved in this process".
* Frank Vancraeyveld from Werner & Mertz Professional qualifying the circular economy as "low-hanging fruit" for the industry, as it "provides business value by giving cleaning companies the opportunity to reduce their costs and create new virtuous economic models".
Juan Díez de los Ríos (pictured here with speakers Sergio Verdasco, Ilunion, and Frank Veneman, VSR, MGB Europe) had been appointed president of the EFCI for 2019-2022 during EFCI's General Assembly which took place in Brussels the previous day. He is the president of ASPEL, the Spanish Association of Professional Cleaning. He has been working in the field of business services and facilities management for more than 20 years and is also president of the technical committee of Facility Management and Services magazine.
The President gave the welcome address to the Conference and explained that : "Despite suffering from what we call 'invisibility', I am convinced that both the trend report and all of today's discussions will show our sector has an undisputable relevance in today's society, not only for the essential services that we provide, but also as regards the enormous impact it has in terms of employment and the role it plays, and can play, in terms of social affairs and circular economy."
As a basis for the day discussion, the Conference started with a presentation of EFCI's new trend report 'The European Cleaning Industry 1995-2016'.
This statistical report builds on the historical EFCI surveys and presents the evolution in the sector from different angles. The cleaning industry experienced an impressive growth over the last 20 years with a turnover tripled to 107 billion Euro and employment increased by 80%, currently employing nearly four million people. The report includes relevant comparisons at national level, based on the most recent data available through Eurostat.
EFCI's Director, Isabel Yglesias, concluded the Conference by highlighting the quality of the interventions and that the main issues raised, coincided with EFCI's political priorities for the new European legislative mandate: the need for high quality procurement and for a level playing field to ensure that the sector continues its growth and develops all its potential, the development of a skills and training agenda for the sector; and the support through adequate legislation for the sectors to totally integrate the circular economy.
4th July 2019