Sustainability training

15th of April 2010

Training programmes are being developed in every region of France so that cleaning managers can put sustainable development into practice - writes Christian Bouzols.

Hundreds of company bosses in France are being called back to the classroom. This is the result of an initiative by the French cleaning federation to organise training opportunities in every region of the country so that company managers can put sustainable development into practice. This makes the federation the only comparable agency in the country to put into place a system
to help decision makers in assuming their companies' social responsibilities.

Well aware for a long time of all the social and environmental issues involved in sustainable development, the cleaning sector has now taken another step towards its implementation. Issues such as saving on water usage, sorting out waste, managing products and their transportation, integrating unemployed workers, adopting environmentally and socially sustainable practices in their operations – all these things can create problems when they are confronted with the realities of the field.

It was to prepare decision-  and policy- makers to face what amounts to a radical change of outlook in company management that the federation is now organising training sessions throughout the country. Initially it had planned to persuade 100 cleaning entrepreneurs to take part, before June 2010, in a special training and action programme in sustainable development. In the event, about 120 companies actually agreed to take part. And this process launched in 2009 is only just beginning as the training sessions are currently all booked. This success is a measure of the need of cleaning contractors to get practical assistance in sustainable development.

Practical emphasis

The system put into place is actually quite smart because it consists of six days of group training at the hands of a specialist consultant, followed by two days of back-up training designed to help each company to establish its specific requirements and work out a plan of action. As the groups are quite small – from 10 to 14 participants – the training course offers every opportunity to calmly study all the problems which those company bosses will have to face in the very near future. Based on theme modules, the courses are well adjusted to the operational needs of cleaning contractors.

Participants are able to chose, among the 51 action programmes on offer, those that best meet the requirements of their operations and the needs of their customers.
The 120 companies currently to be trained are of various sizes, having between two and 800 employees. Half of them have fewer than 50 employees, a figure that very much reflects the structure of the cleaning sector, with a sprinkling of quite large outfits in terms of manpower. The participating companies come from all the regions of France.

Serious investment

This programme dedicated to sustainable development was initially made possible by the financial involvement of the cleaning sector with the support of the 'Life+' programme of the European Commission. The French federation of cleaning companies has every intention of continuing this programme in 2010 and also formulating new initiatives.


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