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ECJ looks back on 20 years - Keith Baker, ISSA9th of April 2013
ECJ celebrates its 20th birthday this month. To celebrate our birthday we look back at the key trends affecting the industry over the last 20 years, with the help of some of the best-known names in the industry. Today, Keith Baker of ISSA.
Better training and wider certification have been hallmarks over the past 20 years without doubt, but it is the sheer volume and diversity of innovation that are top of mind.
For example in this time frame, microfibre products became available and are now widely used. We also saw the advent of detergent concentrates, which are now used throughout the industry reducing packaging and storage, and providing efficient dosing.
The COSHH regulations in particular have been a great step forward. They have been crucially important in delivering greater user awareness of techniques to avoid or minimise contact with harmful substances and minimise leaks and spills plus and they have also ensured sound control and storage of products.
The opening up of central and eastern Europe as well as South Africa is not only a major political issue, but the soaring professionalism and spirit of innovation in these areas has brought huge commercial opportunities for our industry.
Looking back at the past two decades, one thing that really strikes me is that there has not been enough good calibre people staying in the industry. Another area where arguably we have not done as well as we should is arriving at a common definition of what green is. The absence of such a universally accepted definition has created confusion in the minds of buyers and users and allowed so called ‘green-wash’ marketing to flourish.
I believe this will be the dawn of a new era when our great industry will finally get the recognition that it deserves for its vital role in virtually every facet of existence.