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Raising our sector’s profile Professional cleaning has an impact on every area of our lives - yet cleaners rarely receive the recognition they deserve. One association striving to change all that is the ANIP, which in November 2017 won a European Cleaning & Hygiene Award for its work in raising the public profile of the sector. Ann Laffeaty reports.

organisation determined to succeed in this endeavour is ANIP, winner of the Best Initiative Raising the Profile and Perception of the Cleaning Sector award at the 2017 European Cleaning & Hygiene Awards in Rome. ANIP - the Italian trade association Associazione Nazionale delle Imprese di Pulizia e Servizi Integrati – represents cleaning and FM companies up and down the country. This body recently staged a series of events in a bid to raise awareness of the sector in the business, political and media world.

Open forum

Most cleaners and facilities managers are fully aware of the value they provide. By ensuring that our hospitals, schools, hotels, supermarkets, offices and airports are kept clean and running smoothly at all times they are making a significant contribution to the health and wellbeing of the rest of us. But cleaners are part of an invisible workforce that rarely receives the recognition it deserves. Even though the public is exposed to the expertise of the professional cleaning and FM sector every day, we are only really alerted to the contribution they make in our lives when something goes wrong. It is a sad fact that we are quick to notice a dirty facility, but slow to appreciate a clean one. Raising the profile of the sector is therefore a huge challenge. But one

Two of these were entitled Labour Intensive Facility Events – or LIFE. “We created an open, multipurpose forum where topics could be debated and facility management products introduced in an innovative, dynamic and modern environment,” said ANIP president Lorenzo Mattioli. “In our two LIFE events held in Milan in 2015 and 2016 we focused on the business development and economic growth of the country. LIFE has now become the most important forum for companies in our sector.” In the first of the two events, sociologist Francesco Alberoni defined facilities management companies as “those who deal with services for life”. Both events incorporated round-table discussions on various topics including good procurement, economics and business, internationalisation, work and environment, health and training. “It was the beginning of a new story about the identity and dignity of a sector that is unknown to many, yet is of primary importance for all citizens,”

said Mattioli. The association also staged two ANIP Roadshows in 2016 and 2017 taking in the cities of Bolzano, Arezzo, Bari, Turin and Ragusa. The aim of these roadshows was to publicise the association and highlight the integrated services of the facility management sector in general while also delving deeper into local issues and concerns. “We operate in an important sector that needs to raise and demonstrate its importance, both for the sake of the economy and in the social sphere,” said Mattioli. “I think the real benefit of the ANIP roadshow was that it highlighted the value of our role to the market.” Both the ANIP roadshow and the LIFE events attracted hundreds of participants according to Mattioli. “The positive and enthusiastic feedback we received from all stakeholders led to our decision to enter the 2017 European Cleaning & Hygiene Awards,” he added. “As ANIP president it was a great honour for me that we won. The award we received is a sign that we are doing our best to protect and represent companies that provide cleaning services, multi-services and integrated services.” He believes that a poor public perception of the cleaning sector has a detrimental impact on staff and companies in general. “ANIP will continue in its cultural battle to boost the sector by acting as an interlocutor between cleaning companies and political, business and trade union bodies,” said Mattioli. “Poor perceptions could result in laws and regulations that fail to take into account our activities or that could lead to damaging economic policy choices. And we can’t afford for that to happen.”

April/May 2018 | ECJ | 19

Profile for European Cleaning Journal

April/May 2018  

April/May 2018