EFCI presents vision of recovery in post-Covid-19 Europe

22nd of September 2020
EFCI presents vision of recovery in post-Covid-19 Europe
EFCI presents vision of recovery in post-Covid-19 Europe

EFCI, the organisation representing the contract cleaning sector in Europe, has been preparing a forward-looking analysis on the state of the sector with a view to addressing opportunities
and challenges. 

While Europe’s roadmap to recovery is gradually taking the shape of an unprecedented joint financial effort, the EFCI has been at work to provide a forward-looking analysis on the state of the European cleaning industry in order to address the opportunities and challenges for the sector’s key role in the post-Covid-19 context.

In June, with an online webinar discussion among some of the sector’s most prominent experts, the EFCI presented its 2020 Statistical Report The Cleaning Industry in Europe and hosted an evidence-based discussion of the impact of Covid-19 on the future.

Following the 2019 Trend Report on the industry’s evolution between 1995-2016, EFCI’s 2020 report constitutes the first edition of a new format of the historical EFCI surveys. This statistical report provides a detailed overview and analysis of the most recent publicly available data. It includes comparisons on the main aspects of our industry at European and national level, based on indicators such as turnover, number of companies and employees.

The report provides clear evidence of the resilience that characterised the industry across Europe over the last two decades. With a steady growth over the recent years, the European cleaning industry grew by eight per cent, reaching a turnover of €120 billion in 2018.

With an important employment increase of 15 per cent over the last five years, the sector now employs 4.1 million people across Europe.

Discussion on trends

During the webinar discussion, Barry Kitz (hkp///Remunet Group) presented a detailed overview of the 2020 report’s data. He underlined the 50 per cent growth of the industry’s employment rate compared to the 20 per cent increase in the overall EU employment. While the impact on the sector of the temporary closure of offices, leisure and school’s facilities is still uncertain, Kitz pointed out how the diversification of the industry’s market segments remains one of its main strengths and important driver of success.

Looking at the future of workplaces, Peter Ankerstjerne (global lead FM and employee experience at JLL & chair of IFMA’s board of directors) saw a silver lining for the sector in the Covid-19 pandemic. The purpose of office spaces will undergo a radical change: from productivity to social connection and innovative and collaborative work. In this regard, he stressed how disinfection and regular cleaning, especially during office hours, will be instrumental to enable this future and socially oriented shift in office facilities.

Frank Veneman (VSR, MGB Europe) agreed with Peter Ankerstjerne when underlining the increasing importance that the use of new technologies and documentation of hygiene levels will have to enable such future of workplaces. However, he was generally more critical regarding the benefits of an extensive use of disinfection operations outside high risk and intensity contact zones.

Underlying the encouraging acknowledgment of the cleaning industry’s fundamental responsibility during and after the Covid-19 crisis, Michelle Marshall (ECJ editor) saw the current crisis as a unique opportunity to further integrate daytime working. This will potentially mark a future of enhanced visibility and a progressive recognition of the sector’s essential role beyond the Covid-19 crisis.

Post-Covid Europe

The EFCI further addressed the key role and challenges for the future of the sector in its vision paper ‘The European Cleaning Industry, a Key Partner for the Post-Covid-19 Europe”. The vision paper, widely disseminated with decision-makers at EU level, underlines how, if supported by the adequate measures, the sector will continue to be essential not only in guaranteeing hygiene and cleanliness in the pathway to the “new normal” but also in the creation of employment and the integration of young people and workers with transferable skills in the post-Covid-19 labour market. The shift of the focus from price to quality in the purchase of cleaning and other facility services is key to ensure it and to acknowledge the relevance of cleaning and hygiene in our society.

Further acknowledgment of the sector’s key role and commensurate need for support in the EU’s next seven years budget and recovery facility would better equip the industry to take on such challenge while supporting transition into the green and digital economies.



Our Partners

  • ISSA Interclean
  • EFCI
  • EU-nited