Letter from the Chairman and CEO – Proven reliability, bounded optimism

Dear customers, colleagues, and business partners,

2020 provided us with the opportunity to prove our reliability in critical times to all of our stakeholders: customers, employees, bondholders, business partners, and owners. It was our highest priority to ensure the health of our employees and others, while also securing operations, supply chains, deliveries, and services to our customers. 

From a financial point of view, we even strengthened our stability by increasing our equity ratio as well as our financial reserves.

While managing the pandemic, we did not lose sight of our true course, which is our purpose of innovating for a better world. Our answer to the many challenges of the pandemic was to keep our innovation rate high. We launched 86 new products, opened new application centers and training centers, and held another Innovation Challenge, an internal competition to produce sustainable business ideas. More than 400 ideas were submitted. After a selection and voting process of over 100 promising ideas, six were chosen and these teams have begun implementing their inspiring ideas.

As many physical events such as trade shows or customer visits had been limited or were even impossible, we switched to digital tools to keep communication running. We learned that many of these new digital practices are not only a substitute – a great deal of them turned out to be more efficient and effective compared to their primary analog. 2020 marked a step change in the digital transformation of our company.  

We attribute our operation results to agility and point-to-point navigation within the context of a clear strategic framework – our “true north.” In 2020, we started the roll-out of our new Destination25 strategy wherein we define our ambition and pathway to create real impact for a better world and for profitable growth. We are committed to our goals to reduce energy, water, and waste by 50% in our customers’ value chains by 2025 and quantifying the impact of our technologies, processes, and services. It is our commitment to consider not only economic successes, but the preservation of nature and humanity in every decision – it is our ambition to be a best company. This resolution has provided us direction and the energy, to remain focused and steadfast despite the many challenges and setbacks posed in 2020, such as the passing of our dear colleague, Dieter Vögtli.

In 2020, our company has turned 160-years young. We did not find the time to commemorate this anniversary – instead, our celebratory energy was dedicated to bringing our marvelous company through these challenging times in good health and with the strength to bounce back once this crisis is over. This was only possible with the amazing and unfailing support of our employees, customers, partners, and the owners. 

We look forward with bounded optimism to a return to profitable growth while creating impact for a better world.  We wish to express our sincere gratitude to our customers, employees and everyone close to Bühler. Our ability to remain reliable and to progress is due to your continued commitment and trust. We are excited to working closely with you for years to come, and thank you for the trust you are placing in Bühler.

Yours faithfully, 

Calvin Grieder
Chairman of the Board

Stefan Scheiber
Chief Ecexutive Officer

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