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Editorial 3 Sustainability – the key to survival Who actually came up with the idea of ‘sustainability’? keep ourselves on track. A judge at the International We owe it to Hans Carl von Carlowitz (1645 -1714), who Court of Justice in The Hague put it more drastically: long ago was Chief Mining Administrator of the State of ‘Sustainability is the key to human survival.’ Saxony in the eastern part of Germany who penned an im- The topic has not taken on this urgency for society at lar- pressive treatise on best practices for forestry. As this ge, yet, and the facility cleaning industry still has a long dates back three centuries, it begs the question: What way to go as well. Cleaning contractors may advertise sus- does ‘sustainability’ mean today and how does it reflect in tainable products and services and clients may increasin- our behavior? gly demand them, but the fact of the matter is that a con- If anybody still doubts that the idea of ‘sustainability’ was sistent strategy or vision is in most cases still out of focus. Alexander Holzmann, Publisher an integral part of everyday life already ages ago, even One indication that we are not out of the woods, yet, is though the word for it had not yet made it into dictionari- that clients increasingly insist on sustainability on the es, all they have to do is ask the older generation. Once, part of their suppliers, but are all too often less than wil- when I tried to explain ‘sustainability’ to my grandmother, ling to pay for it. It’s the same with quality at the super- she surprised me by enumerating all sorts of examples market, or at the bakery for that matter. from the old days. She told me about how it used to be the With the Sustainability Guide 2016 we again aim to provi- most natural thing in the world to take empty bottles back de you with an updated overview of how our industry to the store so they could be used again. Back then, they translates sustainability into products and services that also wrote with refillable ink pens, instead of the kind you make a difference. This year we are proud to publish a toss away when they’re empty. They didn’t have disposab- special edition of the Sustainability Guide to coincide with le razors and energy-intensive elevators were reserved for ISSA/Interclean. This print run of 5,000 copies will have a especially tall buildings. Diapers were made of cloth; you supplemental section in English. The German-language simply washed them in the laundry. There weren’t any edition, as always, has a circulation of 15,000 that goes driers, either. Just clotheslines. Mowing the lawn took a out to selected recipients in Germany, Austria and Swit- little extra effort and if it made you thirsty, you opened zerland. the faucet for some refreshing water instead of a plastic We trust this year’s edition will sustain your interest in bottle from Italy, France or Scandinavia. I can still hear the issues at hand. We also wish our readers an informati- her saying, ‘Don’t tell me about sustainability, I’ll tell you.’ ve as well as enjoyable experience, and the companies My grandma’s generation, and generations before hers, showcased here new opportunities for creating sustained had been practicing sustainability long before we started and sustainable relationships. making such a to-do about it. So, I thought, maybe humans have an innate desire to do Sincerely yours, the sustainable thing and that we just need to be remin- Alexander Holzmann ded of it every so often to adopt the right behavior and Managing Publisher


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