Industry gathers for WFBSC

The 22nd World Federation Building Services Congress (WFBSC) commenced in Berlin on Monday, 18 September, with the theme ‘Cleaning in a Digital World’.

The three-day conference is expected to see more than 500 executives from around the world gather in the German capital, which is regarded as the birth place of modern building cleaning.

In his opening address, Thomas Dietrich, president of the WFBSC and national guild master of the Building Cleaning Trade (BIV), spoke of the impact of digitalisation on cleaning services, urging delegates to “be inquisitive in 2017”.

Thomas Dietrich ©Dirk Michael Deckbar

“We overestimate the speed of change, but we also underestimate the degree of change,” Dietrich said.

Yvan Fieremans, president of the European Federation of Cleaning Industries (EFCI) and president of the General Union of the Belgian Cleaning Sector (UGBN), said new technologies are continuing to improve communication between cleaning contactors and customers.

In Belgium the UGBN, in partnership with local government and state unions, has implemented a new online reporting platform for cleaners, with the system set to be rolled out across cleaning companies nationally from early next year. “We are still at the beginning of a new way of thinking and working in the cleaning business,” Fieremans said.

Other speakers on the opening day of the conference included Günther Oettinger, EU Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources; Ramona Pop, Mayor of Berlin and Senator for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises; Anja Forster and Daniel Domscheit-Berg,

©Dirk Michael Deckbar

This year for the first time the WFBSC conference will also take place parallel with cleaning trade fair, CMS Berlin 2017.

CMS Berlin 2017 will provide a complete overview of products, systems and processes for the commercial cleaning market, with 429 exhibitors from 24 countries occupying 29,000sqm of halls and outdoor display areas.

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