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Issa interview 2013
By ISSA Staff — posted 05/07/2013
Green cleaning has been one of the most significant trends in our industry and it shows no sign of losing its momentum. The wider global movement for environmentally-friendly products and services has filtered down to the cleaning industry, and our customers have come to expect a level of environmental responsibility from their vendors.
But green cleaning is not simply a clever marketing ploy. Many, if not most, of the companies supporting the movement are fully committed to protecting the environment for the simple reason that it is the right thing to do. Unimop Owner and Managing Director Mike van Bekkum is eager to stress this point. “Customers are increasingly demanding more ‘green’ options, so of course it makes good business sense to provide them,” he said. “However, for us at Unimop, this is more than decision based on profit. We are genuinely committed to the protection of the planet. In an industry like ours which uses a lot of chemicals, we have a responsibility to ensure we do all we can to protect the natural environment.”
Unimop, a Netherlands-based provider of innovative and quality cleaning products and systems, works with European suppliers who are equally committed to sustainability. Most of Unimop’s products and packaging materials are 100 percent recyclable. In addition, the company is selective about the transporters it uses. “We choose our transporters based on those who give the highest priority to the environment,” van Bekkum said. “For example, we want to ensure that our trucks are always full so that our carbon footprint is reduced. Also, wherever possible, we prefer to use intermodal transport.”
Unimop has been a member of ISSA since 1985, and the company is pleased that ISSA shares its commitment to the environment. “ISSA is equally as keen to promote green cleaning, and it has readily-available information on how members can improve in this area on its Web site, in its newsletters, and during the seminars at its trade shows,” added van Bekkum.
In addition to its environmental attributes, Unimop seeks to address its commitment to social responsibility. “One of the major issues facing our industry at the moment is the topic of safety amongst cleaners. For example, I have heard much about ensuring the safety of window cleaners, which can obviously be a dangerous job. It is the responsibility of cleaning companies, and in fact the wider industry, to ensure that the safety of cleaners is of paramount importance,” explained van Bekkum. “ISSA has been very active in propagating the importance of safety,” he continued. “The association has launched many initiatives to ensure that standards are high―and are met.”
One recent ISSA initiative that van Bekkum himself has become involved with is the BeNeLux Working Group. The Working Group is dedicated to ensuring that ISSA members from Belgium, The Netherlands, and Luxemburg (BeNeLux) not only are able to benefit from the global resources of ISSA, but also that their specific local requirements are met.
“Though ISSA’s BeNeLux Working Group, we have been able to bring several key industry players from the region together in order to discuss regional issues and set up proposals for how best to deal with them,” said van Bekkum. “With the combined co-operation of all of us in the BeNeLux Working Group, I am confident that we can ensure that issues like environmental responsibility and safety―as well as any future challenges―can be dealt with proactively and effectively.”
To learn more about Unimop, visit the company’s ISSA Member Directory page.
Featured member articles are written based on interviews conducted by ISSA Staff