The EFCI supports the international community’s commitment to the 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Developments Goals (SDGs). These efforts aim to eradicate poverty and achieve a sustainable world, with human well-being and a healthy planet at its core.

The EU has fully committed itself to delivering on the 2030 Agenda and its implementation through President von der Leyen ambitious policy programme. This commitment has even greater relevance in light of the global COVID-19 pandemic by providing an impetus to ‘building back better’ towards a more inclusive, sustainable, just and resilient future for all. For all these reasons, the EFCI has decided to engage in the accomplishment of the SDGs and to accompany the European cleaning and facility services sector in its contribution to the goals.

The EFCI believes that the European cleaning and facility services sector can act as a key partner towards a more sustainable Europe through a transformational recovery from the pandemic. To this end the EFCI and its member’s work is and will be further developed along its engagements especially to those objectives in the fields of health, hygiene, sanitation, urban spaces upkeep, quality employment and equal opportunities.  The EFCI has identified SDGs 3, 6, 8, 10, 11 and 17 as those to which it can more actively contribute to.

The EFCI contributes to:
The EFCI is the recognised European social partner by the European Commission for the cleaning sector. It is therefore the interlocutor of the European Institutions for social matters, but also for all other policy projects affecting the industry on the employers side. 

In this framework, the EFCI is invited to maintain an active dialogue with the trade unions: since 1999, the EFCI and UNI Europa (the European services workers union) have formally engaged in the Industrial Cleaning Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee, that meets 3 times per year and works in topics of common interest identified in a bi-annual work programme.

The EFCI and UNI Europa have jointly developed statements, projects and guides on relevant issues for the sector. Among others:

The current Work Programme of the European Social Dialogue Committee for Industrial Cleaning (2023-2024) is organized around three main axes, and has been developed as a lean, easily workable programme reflecting the strong conviction of EFCI and UNI Europa to delivering on their commitments, putting feasibility and concretedness on top of their approach.

The selected policy domains are the following:

  1. fair public procurement and effective TUPEs,
  2. the promotion of day-time cleaning as a new organizational model for the sector, combining efficiency, cost reduction, work-life balance and recognition of the people involved in the industry;
  3. training and skills, with a specific reference to the importance of the European Year of Skills set for 2023 and 2024.

The Work programme was adopted during the Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee meeting of 16 March 2023.

EFCI Reports
Since 1987, the EFCI has been publishing the “EFCI Report” on the state of the European cleaning sector, providing an in-depth look on the sector. It focuses on market development and employment trends and makes relevant comparisons between the studied countries. The EFCI Report is the only available analysis at European level offering research-based statistical and factual information about the European cleaning industry.

In June 2019 the EFCI published a Trend Report “The European Cleaning Industry 1995-2016” analysing the evolution of the sector during the last past 20 years. This statistical report builds on the historical EFCI Surveys and presents the evolution in the sector from different angles. It gives relevant comparisons at national level. The Trend Report shows that the cleaning industry experienced an impressive growth over the last 20 years. The industry’s turnover tripled to 107 billion Euro and employment increased by 80 %. This excellent performance is partly explained by the diversification of the sector’s activities..

In June 2020 the EFCI published “The Cleaning Industry in Europe – EFCI’s Report 2020” presenting and analysing the latest data available on the sector by June 2020. It includes comparisons at European and national level, based on the most recent data available in Eurostat, and on indicators such as turnover, number of companies and employees.

Public Procurement
Public procurement accounts for 14-16% of European GDP (EUR 2,448 billion) and is very relevant for the economy of the cleaning and facility services industry (in some countries accounting for as much as 50% of the sector’s turnover). This is why the EFCI strongly engages at all political levels, together with its member organisations, to encourage procurement focused on quality criteria and to promote good contracting practices.  

Among others, the EFCI works in close collaboration with the European Business Services Alliance (EBSA) on procurement matters.

EFCI’s Recommendations for Quality-Based Procurement of Cleaning Services

In order to support the sector’s public and private buyers in their selection of cleaning services, the EFCI published in Spring 2021 a set of specific recommendations and suggestions for buyers who want to deepen their commitment towards quality services and the respect for high social standards when contracting cleaning services. In the leaflet, the EFCI highlights how outsourcing cleaning services allows organisations to focus on their main activities and ensures that specialised and trained professionals maintain high cleaning and hygiene standards in their premises.

Read EFCI’s Recommendations here.

Selecting the Best Value

With the support of the European Commission, the EFCI and UNI-Europa developed a guide for private and public organisations awarding contracts for public services which was presented in May 2017. The Guide assists buyers in their tendering process by guiding them through elaboration of tenders and developing the criterion that lead to the selection of quality services and the benefits attached to them. The Guide was developed with the financial support of the European Commission and in the framework of the European Social Dialogue.

The Guide aims at raising awareness about the consequences of selecting lowest bids instead of best value. The focus on price in cleaning services bids can lead to the creation of unfair competition among employers, which can contribute to adverse conditions for cleaners. Equally, lowest bidders may not be respecting wage legislation, social contributions or tax obligations.

You can download the Guide (available in 12 languages) on the dedicated website. For more information about it, contact the EFCI Secretariat

Training and skills

The EFCI is currently implementing the project “SK-Clean: New skills and training for the cleaning industry”. The project reunites the sector’s training experts from across Europe to identify the key challenges and best practices to accompany the industry through a successful digital transition.

The project will run between February 2020 and February 2022. It is co-founded by the European Commission under its programme Support for Social Dialogue of DG EMPL.

If your organisation is interested in contributing to the project, please contact EFCI’s Secretariat.

For more information, please visit: 

EFCI gather experts in Brussels to discuss daytime cleaning

On Tuesday 27 June, EFCI hosted an event on daytime cleaning practices in Europe. Leading experts from the European cleaning industry came together to discuss one of the potential drivers for change in the cleaning sector.

The European cleaning industry has been debating the case for daytime cleaning for years. And while in some countries this way of working is being implemented, it is not so widespread in others. Could it be a realistic solution for the cleaning industry of tomorrow? To discuss this point and further the public debate on the challenges of the cleaning industry, EFCI organised an event, ‘Daytime cleaning in practice: a new reality for the European cleaning industry.’

MEPs, representatives of the industry, stakeholders from the business community and social partners – all convened to shed light on the organisational model of daytime cleaning and build on concrete cases from public and private sectors of the cleaning industry. This discussion is also part of EFCI’s social dialogue agenda, marking the strong commitment of the organisation to make use of all possibilities offered by social dialogue to strengthen the sector.

‘The cleaning sector is essential to our lives, and joint efforts are needed for a sustainable and technological shift in the future,’ highlighted the European Parliament’s VP Pina Picierno, MEPs Sylvie Brunet and Svenja Hahn in their welcome speeches to participants.

EFCI President Lorenzo Mattioli shared the floor with MEP Ilan De Basso from Sweden for an introductory exchange, agreeing on the need to shift the perspective for daytime cleaning to improve the visibility of the sector and benefit all actors of the industry.

Technical presentation from France

Following the opening remarks, Marc Guerrien, a technical expert from EFCI member organisation FEP, shared a French approach to daytime cleaning. Research shows that ‘continuous’, the term used in France, or daytime (cleaning) work is not simply a question of shifting schedules. But rather a concrete commitment to social responsibility which results in multiple benefits for clients. Long story short: daytime cleaning can become an effective reality if implemented in accordance with all players, case by case.

Industrial cases on daytime cleaning arrangements in the private and public sectors in Europe

Speakers from public and private sectors presented practical examples of how daytime cleaning works in their domain and its benefits and challenges. In fact, daytime cleaning comes with challenges and the relevance of the model should be considered case by case. But it also comes with environmental, economic and social benefits for all actors of the sector. The organizational model is viable across many sectors if carefully planned and implemented.

How to make daytime cleaning work for all?

Rounding off the discussion, EFCI President Lorenzo Mattioli joined speakers from public and private sector and UNIEuropa for a panel discussion.

‘Daytime cleaning can be a major step forward for our industry, increasing its visibility and sustainability. But it must be up to the actors operating in the field to choose this solution, adapting it to their actual needs. We encourage policymakers to recognise the specificity of the cleaning industry – providing services to people – and reflect it accordingly in the legislation, starting from public procurement provisions. Public procurement can have a major impact on the diffusion of these models, if it focuses on the promotion of innovative, high-quality and future-fit operational models, instead of continuing along a price-only approach,’ concluded Mattioli.

EFCI will continue working in the coming months to bring to the front of the EU debate the topics that are at the heart of the cleaning industry, a sector that is so vital to safety and wellbeing of our society and for the effective performance of economic activities.

EFCI’s Conferences and Events

Since 2009, the EFCI has organised annual Conferences on the most relevant topics for the industry, with the participation of industry experts and policy makers:
  • Sustainable Development in the Cleaning Industry (2010)
  • Cleaning companies’ strategies during the economic crisis 2008-2009 and the economic recovery since 2010 (2011)
  • CSR and sustainable development in public procurement (2012)
  • Sustainable competitiveness in the Cleaning Industry (2013)
  • Renewed European Parliament and Commission – what is in for business services? (2014)
  • People and Businesses in the Cleaning Industry (2015)
  • Challenges from demographic change: the labour market now and in the future (2016)
  • Policy on Health and Safety at Work: modernisation of the EU OSH legislation and policy (June 2017)
  • Standards, Education and VET in the Cleaning Sector at national and European levels (2018)
  • On 22 November 2018, the EFCI celebrated its 30th anniversary. During the event, the EFCI presented its new image and name, with which it opened a new period for the federation.
  • Cleaning and facility services: shaping the industry for the future (2019)
  • EFCI’s 2020 Report: is the industry ready for the Covid-19 impact? (2020) Watch the video presentation here.
  • EFCI’s Online Week 2021: Cleaning and Facility Services for Europe’s Recovery.

Cleaning and Facility Services for Europe’s Recovery


11 – 15 October 2021

During a week of seminars, the EFCI hosted discussions on the industry and the challenges ahead for the sector, its role in Europe’s recovery, the new world of work, the greening of cleaning services and the main innovation trends for the sector.


To download the full programme in pdf click here.

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