The value of clean

2nd of May 2014 Article by Dr Ilham Kadri
The value of clean

Dr Ilham Kadri, president of the Sealed Air Diversey Care business, writes her latest blog for ECJ. In it she discusses the true value of the cleaning sector in maintaining health and wellbeing.

Did you know that more than one-third of the global population will suffer from a food borne disease every year?

Did you know that in developed countries, if you are admitted to a hospital you have a 30 per cent chance of contracting a Healthcare associated infections (HAI)? Did you know that sick employees cost companies 7.7 days of lost productivity per annum?

The emergence of disease causing pathogens is of increasing concern to the general public and infection-control professionals. Healthcare associated infections (HAI) is a major burden around the world and threatens the safety and care for patients. In buildings and offices, dust from ineffective vacuuming can cause dry and scratchy eyes. Bacterial contamination from molds and fungi can cause allergic reactions and flu symptoms. Even simple odors can cause water-cooler complaints and low employee morale.

So my question today is: how can the cleaning industry contribute to the most important aspect of human life, that is, health? How can we provide infection control in community settings?

The value we provide is through performance, cost savings and sustainability. Our customers rely on us and our role is to work with them to innovate and develop new solutions that help them achieve their goals. They continue to say that safe, healthy, high-performing facilities are an imperative. They want to be assured that the facilities we maintain will protect the health and safety of the people in them, the people who maintain them, and the environment in which they coexist. And they expect their facilities to be efficient assets that contribute to growth, rather than drain profits.

The truth is that we're all in the health, safety, productivity- enhancement, and waste-reduction business. Those are the core components of the value we provide. We're not in the shiny floor and sweet-smelling restroom business.

Building owners worldwide are increasingly aware of the impact that facilities have on the satisfaction and productivity of the people who work in them. Our experience shows that when building occupants suffer from symptoms such as respiratory illness, allergies and headaches, their performance also suffers.

And according to the latest research from ISSA, cleaning has a very real and measurable value: with the appropriate cleaning methods, it provides between two and eight per cent productivity gains in employee work, saving billions of dollars. Watch the video that ISSA produced about this here.

In the healthcare environment, our value is articulated by providing relevant information on the most prevalent disease causing microbes that threaten patients health, and safely eliminating them from various surfaces and environments. The use of the right detergents, disinfectants and sterilisers adds value.

For instance, Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide (AHP) can be used as an effective disinfectant for both critical and non-critical surfaces with varying concentrations. It possesses fast and effective broad spectrum antimicrobial activities against spores, mycobacteria, viruses, fungi and bacteria. Alcohol rubs, microfibers and smart cleaning methods are just a few more examples of specific solutions that our industry provides.

As Jerome Peribere, our ceo said in New York during the WFBSCs Congress in April: "Cleaning is no longer a cost centre." The value of our industry must be measured in terms of our capacity to prevent infections from spreading. Clean facilities are not just a cost, they add revenue and profit.

Let's work together to overcome a cost-centred view of cleaning and to understand the value we provide in protecting the health and safety of the occupants of facilities. Let's work together to articulate a value proposition that conveys the correlation between a clean building and the productivity of the people in it, whether that be a hospital, school, retail store, or office building.

In summary, let's work together to create a better way for life. This is the value of clean.

Our Partners

  • ISSA Interclean
  • EFCI
  • EU-nited