Businessman looking at illuminated night city. Double exposure

As we move forward in 2023, we reflect on the year that has passed, but we also look ahead at the coming months.

Last year we saw the COVID-19 pandemic move from center stage to an equal role with more traditional hygiene concerns, but still present in our lives and professional considerations. We are in a phase where a heightened sense of hygiene and cleaning importance remains for many.

This sense for cleaning safety from facility users, be they staff, visitors or customers, has also begun to touch other areas such as sustainability and corporate responsibility. Cleaning as a form of caring now spreads beyond the internal protection of spaces to the protection of natural resources used in generating cleaning products, as well as the cleaning process itself.

Cleaning and sustainability both branch into operational and commercial efficiency. The perception that sustainable products cost more through upfront investment, and do not perform as well as their polluting counterparts, is pervasive throughout the industry and continues to be a passionate discussion.

In 2023 we will undoubtedly see more discourse on products, practices and pricing as means to achieving cleaning industry goals. As well as continued conversation on the very core issue, in practical, actual terms, what does it mean for a business to behave sustainably?

The people that make up the cleaning industry will continue to be essential. Rising energy costs, cost of living increases and ongoing social struggles will continue to create challenges for many currently working within the industry. While businesses support staff, they face some of the same issues as well as disrupted supply chains and logistical issues as a result of geopolitical events. Not all cost increases can be born by price increases, so where will businesses find themselves as the prospect of recession increases?

Not only do businesses want to take care of the staff they have, we continue to see them encounter recruitment and retention issues that create operational challenges. In 2023, what developments will we see that makes custodial work more appealing to younger generations, but also increases retention within organizations?

Robotics, cobotics and automation are the leading edges of technologically advanced and effective cleaning, potentially redefining the role that cleaning staff play within their organization.

The idealized smart facility with centrally managed autonomous cleaning machines, that harnesses cobotic cleaning suits to aid humans in complex and dangerous tasks and deploys a team of external drones to clean the windows, is one that offers a very different set of job prospects for cleaning staff than a facility five years ago did.

In 2023, people will continue to want to get the most from cleaning. Whether that is peace of mind for those managing and operating a facility (that cleaning is an operationally successful process), for staff who are looking for interesting and rewarding careers, or simply visitors and customers who, in a post-pandemic mindset, are attuned to visible cleaning as well as visible signs that a space is clean.

I hope that you find the rest of this report engaging and stimulating. We look forward to another year of meeting new people, working with our existing partners and discovering the innovations and developments that are driving our industry and tackling the challenges we face.

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Making Cleaning Sustainable