Annual Report 2021

Our strategy

2021 marked the first year of the implementation of our Destination25 strategy, our pathway for creating real impact for a better world. For the years to come, we have set goals for improved profitable growth while balancing humanity, nature, and economy in every decision and thereby delivering impact on the purpose that binds us together – our commitment to reduce climate change and generate solutions that unlock sustainable business opportunities in the global food, feed, and automotive industries for our customers. 

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Annual Report 2021

Our strategy

2021 marked the first year of the implementation of our Destination25 strategy, our pathway for creating real impact for a better world. For the years to come, we have set goals for improved profitable growth while balancing humanity, nature, and economy in every decision and thereby delivering impact on the purpose that binds us together – our commitment to reduce climate change and generate solutions that unlock sustainable business opportunities in the global food, feed, and automotive industries for our customers. 

We engineer customer success

Our customers are key to our success, and we strive to be a trusted and reliable partner that maximizes business outcomes for them with innovative technologies, processes, services, training, and partnerships. Our strategy of being “in the region, for the region” continues to prove its value for our customers, and thereby for Bühler. With our 103 service stations, 30 manufacturing sites, and Application & Training Centers in 24 locations around the globe, we are close to our customers and support them with new innovations and services to make the most of their asset base. This customer proximity enables Bühler to support its customers and deliver on promises even in highly dynamic markets.  

We invest in innovation – nearly 5% of our turnover each year is dedicated to research and development to create value for our customers with innovations that open new business opportunities and contribute to a sustainable future. 

 

Our purpose

  • We make our customers successful: We strive to create the best technologies to make our customers more successful in very dynamic market environments. 
  • We create impact for a better world and a healthy planet: The demand for sustainable solutions is revolutionizing our markets in the food, feed, and mobility industries, and as a technology provider with a clear aim to reduce climate change, we see ourselves as a driving force for the transition ahead. 
  • We want every human being to have access to affordable and healthy food: With our food and feed business solutions and our focus on safety, we contribute to this human right.  
  • We want to protect the environment with energy-efficient cars, buildings, and machinery: With the solutions of our Advanced Materials business, we lower the energy consumption of various applications, most importantly in the mobility industry.  
  • We build safe and attractive workplaces: Since its founding, people have been the top priority at Bühler – from education and training to career development, health, and safety.  
  • We remain independent as a company by achieving sustainable success: The freedom of being family owned enables us to set a long-term strategy for sustainable company development. 

The way forward

After years of building up an industry-wide global ecosystem to address the impacts of climate change and the growing population, we have taken the next steps to focus on the solutions to create impact. We want to evolve our industries and ourselves such that every human being can enjoy a good life, and have access to affordable, healthy food, and clean mobility within the boundaries of our planet. We continue to grow our innovation ecosystem with our customers, academia, industry partners, start-ups, and business accelerators to attain this. The Bühler Networking Days, to which we invite the leaders of this ecosystem every three years, have become a unique platform to jointly drive the industry transformations ahead of us.  

We have defined goals and targets to contribute to the betterment of the planet and are acutely aware of the urgency to act now. We believe industry has a key role to play in leading the transition to more sustainable business practices and our targets have been carefully selected according to where we can bring impact as a company and make our customers more successful by doing so.  

We remain driven by our vision to create “innovations for a better world” and our mission to “engineer customer success”, and we are guided by our values of trust, ownership, and passion (TOP). These form the foundation on which our Destination25 strategy will be achieved. All our businesses and functions have created a specific strategy within this framework, underpinned by our sustainability goals. 

We aim to achieve this by continuously developing new innovative technologies, products, and services. This requires highly skilled, engaged, and purpose-driven employees, along with a strong collaboration and innovation ecosystem. 

Our 50/50/50 goals

We develop services and solutions for material transformation and processing, which improve the business outcome for our customers with a substantially lower ecological footprint. Within our strategy, it is our goal to have solutions ready to multiply that reduce energy, water, and waste by 50% in the value chains of our customers by 2025.  

For ourselves, we have developed a pathway to achieve net zero in our Manufacturing, Logistics & Supply Chain activities by 2030. The higher the business value we can provide for our customers, the better our financial performance and the investment we can make to deliver on our purpose, and the impact we can generate.  

As a relevant player in the global food, feed, and mobility value chains – around 2 billion people get their daily food processed on Bühler equipment, and the mobility of around 1 billion people is based on parts made with our technologies – we have taken on this responsibility. Being a family-owned company allows us to reinvest most of our profits in innovations for this purpose – and to scale them as fast as possible within our innovative ecosystem and with our customers. In this sense, sustainability is embedded in all functions, responsibilities, and activities of our company.  

There are three key elements that contribute to the upcoming transition of our industries: new solutions, services, and people (education & ecosystems). 

 

Solutions

Providing adequate food and nutrition within more sustainable food value chains is more important than ever. Major opportunities lie in reducing the antibiotic use and CO₂ footprint of livestock, developing great-tasting meat and dairy alternatives, and reducing waste, water, and energy use along the value chains. Sustainable protein supply is another core theme which will be addressed through solutions such as side stream upcycling through insect rearing and processing for feed, plant-based proteins valorization opportunities and much more. The biggest opportunities for the mobility industries lie in ultra-large structural aluminum parts, improved battery components as well as optical systems to allow for autonomous, safe, and comfortable transportation.  

 

Services

To create impact for the new balance of nature, humanity, and economy, services are decisive. They allow us to improve the performance and productivity of the existing installed base and with this to minimize energy, water, and waste. With our services, we create a solution where our customers and their efforts towards sustainability benefit. To achieve this, Bühler has developed a comprehensive services portfolio from process optimization and maintenance over hardware and spare parts to knowledge transfer and upgrading packages. A key element of our services are digital platforms (myBühler and Bühler Insights) and the applications running on them, for example, to calculate, monitor and report on impact along complete value chains such as CO₂e (CO₂ equivalent) calculation from planted coffee beans to a cup of coffee. Our monitoring services ensure the optimal operation of process technologies to save energy, water, and reduce waste at any point in time, for example by increasing uptime of equipment. Retrofit services to renovate the installed base allow us to make sustainability step changes – new equipment and plants could never fully compensate for the existing production capacities.  

 

People (collaboration and ecosystems)

Every progress toward the new balance depends on people, their skills, behavior, collaboration, and the ecosystems we build. On the individual level, it is about awareness and the right skills to take necessary decisions and actions. This applies to all levels – from a leader who might decide to deploy a carbon-neutral company strategy to an operator who is keen on saving CO₂ by running a machine as efficiently as possible. On a company level, it is important that sustainability is not seen as an add-on but is fully embedded in all facets of the enterprise. On an industry level, it is all about collaboration and building ecosystems, as no individual or company alone has the intellectual or financial power to create the impact needed to ensure a high standard of living within the boundaries of our planet. 

Bühler has a strategy of people development, starting from apprenticeship education, and internal programs, to schools and Application & Training Centers for our customers. People development has always been vital at Bühler. Our company was one of the first starting a systematic vocational training. Since then, we have continued to develop and expand our education and training system. Bühler provides apprenticeships for 542 apprentices globally and has trained over 9,200 since 1915. We run schools for milling, grain, rice, and cocoa processing along with Application & Training Centers at 24 locations around the world. 

Our values

To give orientation to our employees and lay the foundation for a corporate culture that supports our endeavors, we renewed our company values in 2019. They are trust, ownership, and passion. Designed to be concise and unambiguous, our values are encompassed in the acronym TOP. Trust relates to integrity, partnership skills, and the credibility required for Bühler to form collaborative networks with customers, start-ups, academia, and NGOs to address global challenges. Ownership is about taking responsibility for decisions taken in the interest of our customers, and passion drives people at Bühler to live their intentions, to learn each day, to support others, and to drive success.

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