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Challenging times for FM in Europe

31 May 2012

Set against a backdrop of financial crisis in the Eurozone, EFMC 2012 in Copenhagen from 23-25th May offers experience and learning from Europe’s leading business and FM experts.

The economic woes of Eurozone countries have hardly been out of the news for months. The disparities in economic strengths and differences in culture and political systems have been writ large across all media, but to anyone in with responsibilities for FM beyond the UK in other European countries, this complexity is part of everyday life.

The European Facility Management Conference (EFMC2012) from 23 to 25 May in Copenhagen, comes at a critical time and brings together the experience and expertise of more than 50 FM experts from Europe and elsewhere to consider the issues and test some practical solutions.

This year’s theme of “Global responsibility – local acting“ matches the ambitions of global businesses and FM companies who need consistency of operation and service delivery across difference countries whilst recognizing and embracing local norms, standards, languages, currencies, customs and habits.

For ISS, the event’s Platimum sponsor, Copenhagen is its home city. Since its formation in 1901, the company has grown into a global service provider employing 525,000 staff in 50 countries, making it one of the largest employer in the world. Keynote speaker, Jeff Gravenhorst, ISS’ Group CEO, says the global scale of its operationsis tackled by making sure the values of its the services are being led by are the values of one company and not by thousands of suppliers.He said recently, “Our educational systems, our training and our health and safety systems go throughout the world. That’s increasingly important in the sectors we’re focused on. That’s where the trend is going. That’s what customers want.”

He does not see government austerity programmes as a threat. He says that rather than focusing just on the cost-cutting, changing the ways services are provided is key.

Opening the conference with Gravenhorst is Professor Michael L. Joroff, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He advises on large-scale development projects that create 21st century industry clusters in an innovative approach to city-making that requires new alliances among public and private development agencies, institutions, and information and communication technology enterprises. Professor Joroff will also sum up each day of the conference with Professor Jan Brochner of Chalmers University of Technology and Professor Tore Haugen from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).

The two-day EFMC 2012 conference (24-25th May)has two ‘tracks’ each in the Business Conference and the Research Symposium. The full programme can be found at

Delegates can look forward to a highly relevant, interesting and topical programme that draws on the FM experience in a wide range of European countries and from many leading companies including IKEA, LEGO Systems, Telenor Group, Sony Ericsson, Statoil, Nokia, Johnson Controls, ISS and Sodexo, and more. .

Stream 1 of the EFMC conference entitled ICT Impact on the Workplaceruns throughout day one (24th May) of the conference and draws on experience from Norway, Switzerland, UK and Netherlands while its parallel stream considers Organising FM – Tools in the morning and How FM can support Core Business in the afternoon.

On day two (25th May), Track 1 concentrates on Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainable FM with experience given from global healthcare company, Novo Nordisk, Lego, ISS, Nokia and Gensler, changing to papers focusing on Sustainability and Added Value in the afternoon. Track 2 looks as the issues arising from Organising FM – globally with contributions from Cisco Systems, Johnson Controls,Planon, IKEA andEssent. The afternoon session entitled Risk Management became Realityrecalls the tragic events of 22 July 2011 in Oslo, while the session entitled Global FM and Real Estate has contributions from theUSA and Sweden.

The FM Research Symposium closely tracks the interests of the FM business and practice community with Track 2 all day on day one (24th May) covering research into monitoring and improvements in Service Management, while Track 1 examines Added Value in the morning and Sustainable FM in the afternoon. On day two, (25th May), Knowledge and Risk Management and Workplaces and Learning Environments are the topics of papers in Track 1 and Track 2 respectively, while in the afternoon the Track 1 looks at CSR and Sustainable FM research while Track 2 examines the Research Methodology and Agenda for European FM researchers and academics.

A highlight of EFMC 2012 is the annual Gala dinner held on 24th May in Danish National Museum where the European FM Awards are presented. Details of finalists will be available shortly in the Partners Across Borders and FM Researcher of the Year Awards. Other highlights are a welcome reception at Copenhagen Town Hall and a programmeof study tours to Sony Erricsson Mobile Communications, DR Media City and House of Aller Media Group on 23rd May. The conference and trade exhibitionsopen on 24 and 25 May at the Bella Center, one of the most modern trade fair and congress centres in Europe.

The EFMC 2012 is a collaborative event between EuroFM and IFMA, hosted locally by Dansk Facilities Management Netværk (DFM), with other partners including the Centre for Facilities Management (CFM) from the Technical University of Denmark, the Danish Industry Association (DI), the Danish Association of Building Experts, Managers and Surveyors (KF), the Danish Property Federation (DPF), the Danish Association of Construction Clients (DACC), as well as the Danish Purchasing and Logistics Forum (DILF). The event is being supported by ISS as Plantinum Sponsor, Sodexo as Gold Sponsor, and Planon as Associate Sponsor.

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