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Global Cleaning 2014

| IN PRACTICE | SUSTAINABILITY Sustainability: the industry is on the right course. Photo: Fotolia/Frank Peters Sustainable cleaning Smooth processes for transparency and peace of mind It may seem easy, but putting more sustainability into cleaning is actually a complex untertaking. Perhaps the first question to ask is ‘What does sustainability have to do with cleaning? And, more specifically, what does it have to do with the way cleaning services are organized?” What we propose to provide here is food for thought to answer sustainability in 1987. The Brundtland Commission defined these questions and the ways in which to add the sustainability sustainable development on the basis of two key concepts: dimension to the portfolio of cleaning services you offer. The idea the concept of needs, in particular the essential needs of the is to actively move towards the main goal of what sustainability is world’s poor, to which overriding priority should be given; and really about: the continuous improvement of our situation as a the idea of limitations imposed by the state of technology and whole for the benefit of humankind and the environment. social organization on the environment’s ability to meet present and future needs. Buzzword ‘Sustainability’ Global depletion of natural resources and the increasing disruption Sustainability – it’s on everybody’s lips and it can be found in of ecosystems also led to the insight that ecological equilibrium can practically every mission statement of businesses and companies, only be reached if economic security and social justice are con- large and small, around the world today. Sustainability actually sidered equally important and can be attained in parallel. Since the originated in forestry. As Manager of Forests for the Prince of three-pillar concept was first introduced at the Rio Summit in Orange-Nassau in Germany, Georg Ludwig Hartig defined it as 1992, sustainable development is no longer limited to the long- being the way in which a forest resource must be managed by only term protection of our environment and its natural resources, but extracting as much timber as can grow after it, so that the forest also centered on the achievement of social and economic goals.3 is never clear-cut but will always be able regenerate itself.1 This three-pronged approach has many supporters, but also many Ever since the expression was included in the report entitled “The detractors. The question being raised is whether ecological Limits of Growth” by Dennis L. Meadows, which was submitted to sustainability should be given precedence, since an intact the Club of Rome in 1972, the meaning of sustainability has grown environment is a prerequisite for the other two dimensions. This in scope in the sense of seeking and maintaining a “situation of ‘controversy’ has resulted in two derivated concepts: that of ‘weak’ global equilibrium”2: “Sustainable development is development sustainability and that of ‘strong’ sustainability. While the former that meets the needs of the present without compromising the allows for a compensation of the three dimensions, the latter does ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” That is how not see the three dimensions as compensating each other. Here, we the UN Commission headed by G.H. Brundtland defined will delve further into the concept of ‘strong’ sustainability. 44 GLOBAL CLEANING | April 2014  


Global Cleaning 2014
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