2023 Year In Review:

Celebrating a Century of THE Association for the Cleaning Industry

2023 was a year of remembrance and reflection for ISSA as the worldwide cleaning industry association celebrated its 100th anniversary. Even a visionary such as Alfred Richter could not have predicted the growth and influence of ISSA when he founded the association in 1923. From a handful of distributor members, ISSA has grown to more than 10,500 members worldwide, representing the entire cleaning-industry value chain. ISSA is proud to be the true voice of the cleaning industry worldwide, with members in more than 130 countries.

But like any great association, ISSA wouldn’t be where it is today if it wasn’t for you, our members. In 2023, ISSA members helped us mark this momentous milestone by contributing photos and memories to the association’s retrospective. The celebration culminated in Las Vegas this past November, where more than 12,000 cleaning professionals converged on ISSA Show North America 2023. And a special thank you to all who helped ISSA Charities reach its ambitious goal of raising US$100,000 by stopping by its booth and generously helping grow its “Giving Tree.”

However, 2023 was about much more than just reminiscing. Rather than rest on its laurels, your association was laser focused on its mission to change the way the world views cleaning. Read on for a look back at how our various ISSA groups and departments not only celebrated our 100th anniversary, but also laid the groundwork for another century of success.

Global Biorisk Advisory Council™ (GBAC)

woman mopping auditorium stageIn 2023, ISSA focused on “The Power of GBAC STAR: Health, Wellness, Resilience” by helping organizations not only demonstrate their commitment to protecting employee and customer health and well-being in a safe, responsible, and sustainable way, but also shaping a healthier and safer world for everyone, everywhere. In addition, GBAC STAR Accreditation supported organizations’ cleaning, disinfection, and infection prevention protocols along with assisting them to adhere to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and meeting their environmental, social responsibility, and governance (ESG) objectives.

GBAC continued to support global industries in travel, gathering, entertainment, service, healthcare, and hospitality by launching its Trusted Advisor Program in 2023, 23 individuals globally with the skills and expertise to facilitate the accreditation for facilities customers. More than 270 facilities worldwide have made future investments in multiyear agreements through GBAC STAR Accreditation, including 23 out of 30 NBA arenas. Also of note, Fiji Children’s Hospital in Suva, Fiji, became the first hospital in the South Pacific to achieve such accreditation.

Thanks to a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), GBAC and ISSA conducted 54 in-person workshops and trained 756 essential cleaning professionals. And a recent $1.2 million Pollution Prevention (P2) grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will help fund an ISSA partnership with Penn State College of Medicine and the City University of New York (CUNY) School of Medicine to improve human health and the environment in disadvantaged communities.

GBAC continues to release Cleaning Industry Alert videos and speak about issues that affect the health of people and buildings, ensuring that the cleaning industry stays up to date on cleaning and disinfection guidance, protocols, and more.


woman sitting at desk on laptop taking classesThe need and demand for the ISSA training and certification programs that are offered globally continued to increase in 2023, with no evidence of slowing down. This was apparent as ISSA’s Global Education, Training, Certification, and Standards department continued to evolve its services for our community. This year realized a vision for ISSA to launch career journeys for individuals who are focused on their professional development and for organizations interested in deploying a career pathway.

Another of the year’s highlights was ISSA’s partnership with the New York State Sheriff Association, which implemented a sustainable program that integrates ISSA’s Cleaning Management Institute (CMI) Custodial Technician Certification, incarcerated individuals, and ISSA members to help solve two challenges maintaining a healthy living environment within the secured walls of a correctional setting, as well as creating a skilled labor force, employable by our members.

Certifications have not only been a focus for individuals within our industry, but also for our members’ customers, who are constantly placing companies under the microscope to validate the services they provide. As such, the ISSA Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS) underwent a significant update with the inclusion of the former GBAC STAR Service accreditation for cleaning service providers. CIMS Advanced by GBAC has become a priority for property management companies and a prerequisite that a growing number of end-users require of their cleaning contractors. CIMS advanced by GBAC has driven over 30 new organizations to the program in 2023 while maintaining the vast majority of currently certified organizations.

Toward the end of 2023, ISSA launched a 100th anniversary limited edition of The Official ISSA Cleaning Times: The Cleaning Industry’s Most Trusted Tasks, Tools & Workloading Resource that 2,500 industry professionals received domestically in the United States. Directly following the limited edition, ISSA launched the eighth edition of the popular guidebook as it continues to evolve and support industry professionals looking to make an impact on their staffing and labor.

Remember, be prepared to share your credentials, certifications, accreditations and more as your customers are demanding excellence.

Government Affairs

Capitol Building Washington DCThe increased spotlight on the cleaning industry in recent years has brought greater interest from U.S. policymakers. Members of Congress, governors, regulators, and even the President have actively sought and listened to the voice of the cleaning industry, which has never been stronger in Washington, D.C., and throughout the 50 states.

ISSA, 15 Member Companies Selected as 2023 Safer Choice Partner of the Year Winners—The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Safer Choice selected ISSA, along with 15 ISSA-member companies, as 2023 Safer Choice Partner of the Year Award recipients. “We thank EPA and Safer Choice for recognizing the leadership of our member companies, working in concert with ISSA, in creating a healthier, cleaner planet,” added ISSA Executive Director John Barrett. “Sustainable cleaning and reducing the environmental footprint of the global cleaning industry continues to be a priority for ISSA and our industry.”

National Cleaning Week—The U.S. House of Representatives, 19 states, Puerto Rico, and seven cities all proclaimed an official “Cleaning Week” in conjunction with National Cleaning Week, March 26–April 1, 2023. This was a record number of states recognizing cleaning week, and the association is planning to build on this success for 2024.

ISSA Clean Advocacy Summit—75-plus industry leaders hiked Capitol Hill and met with more than 80 congressional offices to advocate for the industry and our legislative priorities, including a rollback of tariffs and the creation of a nonseasonal worker visa program. You won’t want to miss this event April 10–11, 2024, in Washington D.C.!

ISSA Supports Bipartisan Essential Workers for Economic Advancement Act—In May 2023, U.S. Representative Lloyd Smucker (R-PA-11) introduced the Essential Workers for Economic Advancement Act (H.R.3734). The legislation would create a year-round, nonseasonal temporary worker program, named the H-2C program. ISSA strongly supports this bipartisan bill.

End Period Poverty Campaign—Huge successes were accomplished in the first full year since ISSA launched its educational and advocacy campaign aimed at ending period poverty and advancing period dignity. In 2023, ISSA successfully lobbied six states to pass public policies to fund and/or require access to period products, dispensers, and disposal solutions in schools. The increased access to menstrual care products will significantly reduce period poverty and school absenteeism, as well as protect the health and well-being of cleaning workers and the public. The organization also released a best practices document for implementing and maintaining period friendly bathrooms and got the chance to go to the White House to meet with the administration’s Gender Policy Council on this important issue.

ISSA Advocacy Fund (IAF) – ISSA raised nearly $100,000 to coincide with its 100-year anniversary from 70 member companies since the association created the IAF in June 2020 to expand our grassroots advocacy, lobbying, coalition building, and public-relations efforts.

Strength in Numbers – ISSA celebrated reaching more than 1,500 Advocates for Clean. Advocates are the first to hear about pressing legislation, compliance deadlines, ISSA advocacy events, and more. Our 2023 survey of more than 200 ISSA members proved that legislative and regulatory advocacy is extremely important to our members. Of those surveyed, 73% said advocacy is very important to their business compared to only 63% in 2021, while 58% believe ISSA is very effective at advocacy compared to only 32% in 2019. Lastly, 18% said advocacy was the most important thing they take into consideration when renewing their membership, and 49% said it was very important.



International FlagsFor ISSA Canada, the focus on 2023 was to support both the members excelling in their businesses as well as those who were struggling. Perhaps one of the hardest-hit sectors over the years has been wholesale distribution. Based on the success of its Building Service Contractor Council in creating a focus on the end-user and opening a solid channel of communication between the association and the sector, ISSA Canada felt the creation of a Canadian Distributor Council could achieve the same. Chaired by Tom Fournier, owner of Shade’s Mills Group Ltd., the new council brought together eight representatives from a cross section of national and regional wholesale distributors from across Canada.

Recognition of those ISSA members who dedicate themselves to the mission of protecting people and the planet through green and sustainable initiatives was also a tradition ISSA Canada continued in 2023. In fact, ISSA Canada was pleased to present two Environmental Stewardship Awards to Bouygues Energies & Services and Charlotte Products Ltd. for their dedication to environmental practices and commitment to the value of clean.

Never to rest on its laurels, ISSA Canada is looking forward to continuing to support its membership in 2024. With a heavy focus on providing tools and resources to succeed, ISSA Canada is plans to roll out a robust calendar of educational programs across the country.

ISSA Latin America

Along with celebrating 100 years of a successful journey in the cleaning industry, ISSA has been driving educational and commercial resources to build the new era of the association in the Latin America (LATAM) region, as part of the new global visionary strategy. Formed by a group of 37 countries, ISSA LATAM currently has 400 active members with a projection of more than 500 in 2024.

In 2023, ISSA LATAM hosted a total of 19 virtual education sessions attended by hundreds of participants. Focusing on education, this past year focused on new adapted-to-the-culture content in Spanish such as online cleaning industry certifications and roundtable workshops. ISSA also added three new Spanish master trainers and a Portuguese master trainer to its pool of official instructors for the region.

ISSA Europe, Middle East & Africa

ISSA Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) focused on providing the region with exceptional educational experiences throughout the year, hosting 24 events. Nearly 700 cleaning professionals attended ISSA EMEA’s education sessions in 2023, seven times more than those who received training last year, thanks in part to the addition of a new certified trainer for ISSA’s CMI Train the Trainer program.

The ISSA PULIRE trade show was hosted in Milan, Italy, for the first time, attracting more than 20,000 attendees and nearly 400 exhibitors. As part of ISSA PULIRE 2023, ISSA educational materials such as The Official ISSA Cleaning Times and CMI’s library of Custodial Training books were released to the region following a careful industry review. Also in Italy, the country’s Lombardy region officially recognized cleaning as a profession that must be carried out by professionally trained staff. Following this recognition, ISSA developed a new training course sponsored by the region.

ISSA Korea

This past year, ISSA Korea continued to support the region through a variety of in-person and online training programs providing the knowledge and skills needed for professionals at all levels in their career. With a dozen regional sessions in 2023, ISSA’s CMI helped more than 100 cleaning professionals achieve CMI certification. In addition, 99 facilities in South Korea earned GBAC STAR certification, while three member companies achieved CIMS Advanced by GBAC certification.

ISSA Oceania

A major highlight for ISSA Oceania in 2023 was the ISSA Cleaning & Hygiene Expo, which returned to Melbourne, Australia, for the first time since 2019. The expo saw a 33% increase in show floor space, with many exhibitors taking up bigger and grander spaces. There also was a 16% growth in exhibitor numbers, with a record number of 100 occupied booths. While regional support of the show has always been strong, this year saw attendees from more than 20 countries.

Cleaning for health training remained a priority in 2023. ISSA Oceania released a series of workshops to the market, focusing on a science-based approach to cleaning. This will continue in 2024 with ISSA’s goal to ensure essential cleaning professionals have access to and can complete training on the knowledge, skills, and abilities that are crucial to a safe and healthy work environment.

ISSA Charities

Women making heart-shaped hands togetherISSA Charities is composed of three signature programs: Cleaning for a Reason®, which partners with residential cleaning companies to provide free home cleanings for cancer patients; ISSA Hygieia Network, which provides women in the cleaning industry with tools and resources to advance their careers; and ISSA Scholars, which provides scholarships to help relieve the burden of tuition on students and their families.

Providing Relief to Thousands of Cancer Patients Through Free Cleaning Services

Cleaning for a Reason works with more than 1,300 partners and volunteers to provide essential cleaning services to over 5,400 cancer patients and their families annually. In 2023, the organization welcomed four new corporate franchise partners, including Two Maids, Maid Right, eMaids, and You’ve Got Maids, while also expanding its partner base by adding 100 more cleaning services. Together, these partnerships provide crucial relief, comfort, and cleanliness to patients and their families. Additionally, the collective efforts of Cleaning for a Reason and its partners have successfully raised over $580,000 in support of the cause. Since its inception in 2006, the nonprofit has served more than 52,000 cancer patients with donated cleanings valued at over $18 million.

Advancing Women in the Cleaning Industry

2023 was another record year of hosting virtual and in-person events targeted at advancing and retaining women in the cleaning industry. ISSA Hygieia Network hosted three in-person conferences and five webinars featuring industry leaders that reached more than 1,180 attendees. The network launched its Male Ally Committee and Frontline Worker Subcommittee to attract and engage male members and business service contractors. Hygieia also awarded several industry professionals a Hygieia Network Educational Programs Grant, which provided recipients with access to programs in its online learning portal, ISSA Hygieia Network Career Academy.

To conclude a successful year, the Hygieia Network Awards Reception attracted more than 1,000 attendees at ISSA Show North America 2023. Awards were presented in six categories: Rising Star of the Year, Company of the Year, Member of the Year, International Member of the Year, Ally of the Year, and Mentor of the Year.

Providing Scholarships to Students

ISSA Scholars helps students fulfill their dreams of higher education, which are made possible by the generous contributions of ISSA member companies and individuals. In 2023, ISSA Scholars awarded scholarships to 49 exceptional students who demonstrated academic and leadership excellence, totaling more than $142,000 in funds granted this year. This wouldn’t have been possible without the generous contributions from individuals and ISSA-member companies. Online applications for the 2024 scholarships will open in January.

ISSA Divisions

ISSA DivisionsIn 2023, three ISSA Divisions—ISSA Residential, the Indoor Environmental Healthcare and Hospitality Association (IEHA), and the Workplace Solutions Association (WSA), formerly the Independent Office Products and Furniture Dealers Association (IOPFDA)—were all committed to providing first-in-class networking and education opportunities to their communities. Take a look at what each division did to improve their member experiences.

ISSA Residential

This past year was a momentous one for the residential cleaning members of ISSA for many reasons. Formerly known as the Association of Residential Cleaning Services International (ARCSI), the division rebranded with the new name of ISSA Residential, reflecting its commitment to excellence and connecting the residential cleaning members with the broader worldwide cleaning community.

Throughout the year, residential cleaners of ISSA also celebrated the 20th anniversary of their association, which was founded in 2003 by a group of residential cleaning company owners who wanted to find a way to connect with each other and develop resources to grow their companies.

ISSA Residential members gathered and learned together throughout the year in many ways, including:

  • Residential Coffee and Conversation—A monthly online event for members to connect and discuss hot topics with their peer group.
  • Residential Regional Events—Held in St. Louis, Missouri, in April and Charleston, South Carolina, in August, these sold-out events brought together education and networking at member companies.
  • ISSA Show North America 2023—More than 400 residential cleaning professionals attended the annual trade show to learn, share, and grow together.

ISSA Residential continues to build for the future as they also expanded their Residential Cleaning Council and Residential Ambassadors to better serve and engage members as they grow the community.

The Indoor Environmental Healthcare and Hospitality Association (IEHA)

IEHA educational programs continued to thrive, continuing the goal of supporting the healthcare and hospitality sectors of the cleaning industry. The undisputed highlight of 2023 was the triumphant return of the IEHA Housekeeping Olympics after a four-year hiatus.

Now featuring international teams, the premier event garnered global attention, making headlines in The Washington Post, appearing on the national daytime TV show Live with Kelly and Mark, and airing on iHeart Radio stations across the country. This widespread coverage not only spotlighted and celebrated the sponsors, hotels, and team members who participated, but also showcased the skill and value of our members.

Congratulations to this year’s IEHA Housekeeping Olympics winners:

  • Buffer Pad Toss and Mop Relay Race: Team Canada
  • Bed Making: Bellagio
  • Vacuum Cleaning Race: Aria
  • Executive Challenge: Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino
  • Spirit Team: Park MGM
  • Overall Champion: Bellagio.

Workplace Solutions Association (WSA)

In May 2023, the Independent Office Products & Furniture Dealers Association (IOPFDA), a division of ISSA, announced an updated brand identity, including a new name and logo to reflect its expanded mission to encompass the entire independent office products and furniture industry. The association is now known as the Workplace Solutions Association (WSA), Powered by ISSA. The enhanced brand identity empowers the association to attract suppliers and service providers to strengthen its influence and reach in the workplace solutions space.

2023 saw WSA teaming with CBIZ to offer new healthcare and insurance benefits with better savings and national coverages. WSA also partnered with PromoEQP to offer a simplified promotional products program with corporate pricing benefits, no term contracts, or purchasing requirements. In addition, the WSA Scholarship Fund is now officially a division of ISSA Charities, where it received several generous grants from new benefactors.

ISSA Media

ISSA Media logosThe importance of cleaning was at the forefront of the communications shared by ISSA’s Media team in 2023. But the team’s work goes beyond explaining and promoting the physical action of cleaning surfaces. Through its magazines, websites, videos, webinars, and social media postings, ISSA Media’s messaging provides comprehensive content encompassing the entirety of the cleaning industry.

In 2023, the ISSA Media team covered it all: best practices in cleaning and disinfecting; overviews of the latest robotic equipment, smart dispensers, and business software; methods to improve indoor air quality; tips for hiring and training employees and boosting your company’s bottom line; the latest company news; advocacy efforts to protect the interests of the industry; infection-control practices to keep facility residents safe; and strategies to prepare buildings for natural disasters and to restore them after the worst has happened.

Through written and video interviews, ISSA Media gives a voice to the people of the cleaning industry—those working on the front lines like environmental services (EVS) workers, custodians, and restoration professionals, along with cleaning product and equipment manufacturers and distributors. ISSA Media’s content focuses on the health, safety, and prosperity of cleaning industry businesses, their customers, their vendors, and the members of the public who enter facilities cleaned and maintained by professionals.

ISSA communicates via its three brands: ISSA Today, serving ISSA members; Cleaning Maintenance & Management (CMM), serving in-house and contract cleaners, as well as facility managers; and Cleanfax, serving cleaning and restoration specialists. ISSA Media also provides multimedia content in webinars and videos, with engagement and views of these products increasing each month. With webinars seeing 250 or more live attendees plus thousands of post-event views to countless video views of various programming, the ISSA digital world is making an impact.

ISSA Membership

ISSA MembershipAs we close the chapter on 2023, we are delighted to share with you an overview of our association’s achievements and growth over the past year. Your steadfast support has been instrumental in driving ISSA’s success, and we express our heartfelt gratitude for your commitment to our community.

We are thrilled to announce a remarkable 3% increase in our global membership in 2023. ISSA now proudly connects more than 10,500 members across 137 countries, a testament to the strength and global reach of our community. Breaking down our membership, we’ve observed substantial growth in the facility service provider sectors, particularly among building service contractors and facility managers. Geographically, the United States remains our leading region, closely followed by the Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) and Latin America (LATAM) regions. The diversity of our membership continues to expand, with notable growth in healthcare, higher education, hospitality, and correctional facilities.

An exciting development this past year is the impressive 10% increase in our retention rate. Our strategic focus on providing personalized membership touchpoints has proven successful in enhancing member satisfaction and loyalty. ISSA members actively participated in numerous events and activities, including dozens of in-person events and conferences, 100-plus webinars, and various association initiatives. Your engagement has been vital in fostering a vibrant and collaborative community.

ISSA’s commitment to delivering value is reflected in our insurance programs, which have saved our members over $3 million. Our comprehensive member-only programs cover health, dental and vision, life, disability, virtual, and international health coverage; accidental injury insurance; and identity theft protection. In 2023, we introduced the ISSA Cyber Protection Program, a cutting-edge offering in partnership with CyberControls, powered by Elpha Secure and Bolton Street Programs. This program combines cyber insurance and advanced security software at an exclusive, affordable price for ISSA members. Additionally, we welcomed more than 30 Industry Partners, industry leaders collaborating with ISSA to provide solutions to everyday challenges.

Looking ahead to 2024, we are excited to unveil a brand-new ISSA website, providing a modern and user-friendly platform to enhance your online experience and a revamped Member Portal with improved functionality will ensure seamless access to resources. We’re committed to offering new tools, templates, and an updated Value of Clean Toolkit. As we embark on this journey together, we invite you to share your feedback and suggestions. Your input is invaluable as we strive to continuously improve and tailor our offerings to meet your evolving needs. Actively participate in ISSA’s activities and initiatives to make the most of your membership. Connect with us today at 800-225-4772.

Trade Shows

ISSA Trade show floorIn 2023, for the first time ever, ISSA Show North America took place at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. More than 12,000 cleaning professionals from all corners of the industry came together this past November to connect with potential clients, suppliers, and partners—a 15% increase in attendance from the 2022 event.

ISSA Show North America featured eight education tracks on the most pressing issues impacting the cleaning industry. The extensive programming included more than 140 educational sessions aimed to increase sustainability requirements, maximize hygiene, minimize cross-contamination, and address labor shortages. In conjunction with the robust educational offerings, attendees accessed state-of-the-art workshops led by industry experts.

In addition to the education and networking opportunities, this year’s show also served as a centerpiece for ISSA’s centennial celebration. The 2023 Innovation Awards program honored companies dedicated to developing ground-breaking products, while the 2023 ISSA Achievement Awards recognized the individuals committed to driving the cleaning industry forward through their positive contributions in their business and beyond.

ISSA Show North America will return to the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas for its next edition, November 18–21, 2024. For more information about the ISSA Show, visit www.issashow.com.