Annual WFBSC Congress Opens Its Doors

The 22nd Congress of the World Federation of Building Service Contractors (WFBSC) opened yesterday on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds, attended by over 500 senior executives from the international cleaning industry. The main theme is ’Cleaning in a Digital World – Processes, People Technology’. In his opening speech Thomas Dietrich, President of the WFBSC and National Guild Master of the Building Cleaning Trade (BIV), underlined that processes, people and technology were the driving forces of the digital transition. He predicted that digitisation would affect how everyone at the event conducted business.
Günther Oettinger, EU Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources, stressed the importance of the building cleaning trade for the economy and appealed to the industry to seize the opportunity that digitisation offered. The building cleaning trade needed to be involved in the planning of new buildings and other parts of the infrastructure. He called for free, fair and open trade. According to Oettinger, the protection of data, the acquisition of basic digital knowledge by every employee and investment in real estate infrastructure represented the next phase that had to be reached.
Yvan Fieremans, President of the European Federation of Cleaning Industries (EFCI), dismissed the idea that digitisation would replace cleaning jobs. Instead, it would simply support and augment cleaning processes. Communications would play an important part, and as a result building services would change. He talked about ongoing trials of innovative digital systems for monitoring work processes which were being held in Belgium. There were many developments such as these and of a similar nature under way in many countries, and they had sparked intense political debate.
Ramona Pop, Mayor of Berlin and Senator for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises, welcomed those present, who represented 43 countries, on behalf of the Berlin Senate. She emphasised Berlin’s importance as a leading international venue for trade fairs. By laying the foundation for digital startups Berlin had succeeded in implementing major structural change, which was why it was the ideal venue for the WFBSC Congress.
The WFBSC congress is taking place from September 18 to 20, and for the first time is being held parallel with the international cleaning trade fair CMS Berlin – Cleaning.Management.Services. (September 19 to 22)