About ISSA

ISSA is the world’s leading trade association for the cleaning, hygiene, and facility management industry. The organization covers the entire industry – from the manufacturers and associate manufacturers, through the distribution and wholesale chains, to the professionals who clean our buildings, homes, public spaces, and transportation systems every day.

The ISSA Global Family

ISSA members are part of a trusted international network that includes more than 10,500 of the industry’s top solutions providers. Being an ISSA member also means you are part of a well-established local community with access to a range of benefits provided by ISSA’s regional teams.

ISSA’s reach extends around the globe, represented by our four regional portals: Canada; Latin America; Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA); and Oceania.

ISSA by the numbers

Worldwide members of the association
Certifications, designations, and accreditations
Global shows, pavilions, and conferences
Specialty communities of cleaning and industry supply
Industry news and information publications
Charities giving back to the community
Professional development platforms
Voice advocating for the cleaning industry

Association History

ISSA Historical photo

I realized there was a great deal I did not know about the business. I presumed that a conference of successful distributors, drawn from various metropolitan cities, would result in an exchange of ideas that would be beneficial to all.”

This was the basic vision of Alfred Richter, who founded the National Sanitary Supply Association in 1923.

ISSA was founded in 1923 by Alfred Richter and was originally known as the National Sanitary Supply Association. The association was built to serve the sanitary supply industry and is now the leading trade association for the cleaning industry worldwide. The first sanitary supply meeting was held in St. Louis of July 1923 and was intended to serve successful distributors across several metropolitan cities. The association started with seven sanitary supply distributors and has grown to serve 10,500 members globally. Today, the association serves the full cleaning industry including distributors, manufacturers, manufacturer representatives, building service contractors, in-house service providers, residential cleaners, and associated service members.

Richter’s vision was to form a small association of companies with common interests in hopes of creating solutions for each other to grow their businesses. After the first meeting, the small group realized the benefit the organization could serve the industry, so they planned the first national convention which launched as the first ever trade association in the cleaning industry. By 1945, the Association averaged 350 members and continued the annual conventions throughout the country.

In the 1950’s, the ISSA conventions were held at small venues and consisted of exhibitions of new products available and networking opportunities for companies in the industry. Education surrounding the industry was taught through round table discussions on how to grow the industry, run a successful janitorial supply business, and served as a place to exchange ideas with fellow peers. The goal of the conventions was to promote growth and knowledge throughout the industry while working towards expansion.

Today, ISSA is the leading trade association for the cleaning industry and is headquartered in the US, Canada, Italy, Australia, and South Korea. As an association, we are dedicated to serving our members by building long lasting connections within the industry, hosting trade shows, providing educational products, professional development programs, training, industry standards, publications, and legislative services. ISSA demonstrates the true value of clean by representing all the professionals within the cleaning industry in hopes of changing the way the world views cleaning. ISSA strives to be the leading resource for information, education and networking while increasing the appreciation for cleaning, strengthening the community, and investing in human health.

Our commitment to the global cleaning community

ISSA is determined to remain the leading worldwide association for the cleaning industry by representing all the professions it encompasses and by allying with other trade organizations that share its members’ common goals. In doing so, the association plans to leverage the strength of its global cleaning community to change the way the world views cleaning – increasing the appreciation for cleaning as an investment in human health, the environment, and an improved bottom line.

ISSA Brand Promise

Changing the way the world views cleaning.

ISSA Mission

  • Facilitate ongoing education and training, certification, networking, events, and commercial opportunities for members.
  • Deliver high quality, industry-specific news and multi-media content.
  • Provide members with the business tools needed to promote cleaning as an investment in human health, the environment, and an improved bottom line.
  • Develop cleaning standards regarding professional business practices.
  • Help organizations demonstrate their commitment to protecting the health and well-being of their customers and employees in a safe, responsible, and sustainable way.
  • Provide the opportunity for members and the industry to collaborate on ways to advance clean and drive innovation.

ISSA Values

  • A staff that welcomes and encourages contact with the members.
  • A staff that identifies, understands, and strives to meet or exceed the needs and expectations of the members in everything it does.
  • A commitment to continually update the association’s products and services to reflect both the most current needs of our membership and the trends affecting the cleaning and maintenance industry.
  • To welcome and provide a fair opportunity to all cleaning-industry businesses without regard to size of firm, length of time in business, or methodology of going to market.
  • To represent businesses that act professionally and utilize acceptable ethical standards as defined within the ISSA Code of Ethics.
  • Leadership on the Board of Directors and staff that consistently acts professionally and ethically toward the community and the membership in its principles and with the financial resources entrusted to the association.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Anyone, from any background, should feel encouraged to participate and contribute to the cleaning industry. ISSA is committed to creating an environment that welcomes new ideas and perspectives, and where hostility or other antisocial behaviors are not tolerated.