Annual Report 2023

Our strategy

Annual Report 2023

Our strategy

Our purpose: Innovations for a better world

As a Swiss family enterprise with a history of 163 years, we are driven by a strong sense of purpose, and our strategy is based on deeply held values. Our purpose is to create innovations for a better world. The charter of our owner family defines our long-term objectives and acts as our normative lighthouse. And our values of trust, ownership, and passion are the behavioral principles for all Bühler employees worldwide.

Based on this, we have set goals for the coming years to strengthen our positions in our markets globally as a technology leader, while balancing the needs of humanity, nature, and economy in all our decision-making processes. We see profitable growth as a prerequisite for creating positive impact for a better world. This conviction guides our investments in the future development of our company, into innovative products and services, as well as in the development, education, and training of our people. In this context, the safety of employees has ultimate priority.  
In choosing Bühler, our customers benefit in their own business performance through innovation and productivity, through positive environmental impact, from opportunities to offer their employees training at our schools and application centers, and from better performance and efficiency of Bühler solutions. Last but not least, they benefit from the global setup of Bühler, in all major markets and continents of the planet. 

Attaining our goals is only possible with a skilled, educated, and passionate workforce. Therefore, we invest in our people and in so doing, contribute to improving their skills, and their future perspectives. At Bühler, we care for each other, and safety is a top priority. We never compromise on health and safety for our own employees, or the employees of our customers and our partners. We comply with all applicable rules and regulations, and human rights, wherever we do business, and our business activities are closely linked to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

To create and accelerate impact requires intense collaboration among market players. In addition to our industry partners and customers, other players such as universities and research partners, financial partners, start-ups, and governments as well as non-government organizations also play key roles. Therefore, we have built a strong collaboration ecosystem, which we are continuously expanding, with a special focus on innovation aspects and education. In this way, we bring together purpose, people, and performance to accelerate impact for a better world.


Key elements of our strategy are:

  • We drive customer success: We strive to create the best technologies to make our customers more successful and more productive in their very dynamic market environments.


  • We innovate in specific markets for processing and application of advanced materials: These businesses target applications in the automotive sector, various technical coating fields, as well as the inks and battery sectors.
  • We create impact for a better world: The demand for sustainable solutions is changing our markets in the food, feed, and mobility industries. As a leading technology provider with a clear aim to contribute to addressing the sustainability requirements of our stakeholders, we see ourselves as a driving force for the transition ahead, with innovative technologies and services.
  • We offer the best training, education, and development programs for people: Since its founding, people have been at the center of all activities at Bühler – from education and training to career development, health consulting, modern occupational health and safety training, modern work solutions, and career perspectives.


  • We contribute to solutions towards food security and affordable and healthy food: We do this with our processing solutions, including digital services combined with local services as well as our training, education, and application centers. Our decentralized service, supply chain, and production organizations are key success factors in this context.


  • We remain independent and invest in our future: The freedom, the value set, and the speed in decision-making of a family-owned company enable us to set a long-term strategy for the sustainable development of our company, and for trustful and long-term relationships with our stakeholders.

Our sustainability goals

More than ever, the world demands effective solutions to reduce CO2e emissions, address the loss of biodiversity and the distribution of wealth. Every credible scientific study published in the reporting year, such as the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), concluded that the condition of our planet and societies are even more challenging than we previously believed. The IPCC report also underscored that human actions still have the potential to determine the future course of the climate, primarily by reducing emissions substantially going forward.

For many years, we have focused our research and development efforts on improving both the commercial and sustainability performance of our solutions, products, and services. The key objectives of our sustainability goals are:


  • We committed to developing a pathway to achieve a 60% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in our own operations by 2030.1
  • We committed to having solutions ready to multiply by 2025 that reduce energy, waste, and water by 50% in the value chains of our customers. 
  • We proactively collaborate with suppliers to reduce climate impacts throughout the value chain. 


As a relevant player in our industries and as a responsible family-owned company, we reinvest most of our profits in innovations for this purpose, and in scaling them as fast as possible. In this sense, sustainability is embedded in all functions, responsibilities, and activities of our company.


Greenhouse Gas Protocol Scopes 1 & 2, 2019 baseline. 


At the core of Bühler’s business model is the transformation of raw materials to intermediate and finished consumer products: from grains to flour, malt, baked goods, and bread; from beans to coffee, chocolate mass, pralines, and bars; from proteins to meat or dairy substitutes; from aluminum to structural car parts; from substrates to coated glass; from pigments to printing inks. The offering to our customers consists of complete value-chain solutions with lines, plants and complete industrial parks, services, and components. Core technologies within our solutions include drying, cleaning, grading, optical sorting, grinding, dispersing, extrusion, roasting, mixing, dosing, thin-film vacuum coating, casting, and many more.

With our technologies, we aim to contribute to effective improvements in the value chains of our industries. Major opportunities, among many others, lie in enabling a sustainable protein supply by reducing the CO2e footprint in livestock and the related feed solutions, for instance with feed based on upcycling of side streams. Interesting opportunities for the mobility industries lie in ultra-large structural aluminum parts, improved battery components as well as optical systems to allow for autonomous and safe transportation. 

An important core competence of Bühler is its highly specified process know-how. This is the essence of Bühler: understanding, shaping, and controlling material-transformation processes. This enables us to support our customers on all levels, starting from the evaluation of new finished products and recipe developments, to trials, and on to scaling to industrial levels, and full operational production support in industrial production plants.

By continuing to spend up to 5% of our turnover on research and development (R&D) annually, we develop innovative technologies, machines, and services, which differentiate in the market through high performance, productivity, reliability, and improved sustainability Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).


Fast, professional, and reliable services for our customers represent a major differentiator for Bühler. Services improve the performance and productivity of our customers' existing installed assets by optimizing yield, minimizing energy consumption, reducing waste and water, and by maximizing the valorization of side streams and the overall productivity of their operations. Through all of this, services have become key enablers to making our customers' plants more efficient and sustainable at the same time.

Bühler has developed a comprehensive services portfolio from process optimization and maintenance to hardware and spare parts, as well as knowledge transfer and upgrading packages. Key elements of our services are digital platforms such as myBühler and Bühler Insights, and the applications running on them, for example, to calculate, monitor, and report on CO2e-impact along complete value chains. Our monitoring services ensure the optimal operation of process technologies to save energy and water and to reduce waste at any point in time. Retrofit services to renovate our customers’ production assets allow us to realize step changes in sustainability and productivity. The current share of the services and components business is 32% of the total Bühler turnover.  


All progress depends on people and their skills, behavior, passion, resilience, and collaboration. 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 CO2e and improving downtimes by running a production line 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. All of this and much more is only achieved with the right people, at the right time, and in the right functions.

The normative guidelines, as set out in the charter of our owner family, commit us to upholding the long-standing Bühler family tradition of respect, integrity, fairness, appreciation of employees, customer proximity, a strong spirit of innovation, future orientation, and honest and open communication.

We act with social, cultural, and ecological responsibility towards employees, business partners, and customers, and exercise ethical corporate governance, respecting local roots, while taking a global perspective.

Employees have a very important place in the company. The family and the management are aware that they represent our greatest potential. To give orientation to our employees and lay the foundation for a corporate culture that supports our endeavors, we established our values of trust, ownership, and passion (TOP). These are behavioral principles for all Bühler employees. Trust relates to integrity, partnership skills, and the credibility required for Bühler to form collaborative networks with customers, start-ups, academia, and non-governmental organizations (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. 

Our strategy and targeted programs for people are deeply rooted at Bühler. Our key factors are the support, training, and development of people, starting from our lighthouse program – apprenticeship education – to further-development programs for experienced people and experts. In parallel to this, we continue to invest in schools and Application & Training Centers for our customers’ employees. We run schools for milling, grain, rice, and cocoa processing all over the world and also offer dedicated courses for experts in our various training centers. 
Bühler was one of the first companies to systematically start vocational training, back in 1915. Since then, we have continued to develop and expand our programs. Bühler provides apprenticeships for over 500 apprentices globally and has trained 8,333 apprentices in Switzerland since the foundation of the program.

Our customers are key to our success, and we strive to be a trusted and reliable partner. Our objective is to optimize business outcomes for customers, with innovative technologies, processes, services, trainings, and innovation partnerships. Our extensive global setup continues to prove its value to our customers. With our 105 service stations, 30 manufacturing sites, 91 sales offices, and Application & Training Centers in 25 locations around the globe, we are close to our customers and support them locally, quickly, and professionally. This customer proximity enables Bühler to support its customers and deliver on promises, even when situations become critical.



Service stations


Manufacturing sites


Sales offices


Locations with Application & Training Centers

We believe that collaboration between industry players, academia, start-ups, and NGOs is essential to develop the solutions required to meet the needs of a growing global population sustainably. We have therefore established an ecosystem of collaboration and innovation. We connect our ecosystem partners with the process and technology know-how and experience of Bühler employees, and with other participants in our network. The key to unlocking the value of the ecosystem is the openness and capability of our employees. To give this ecosystem a regular focal point, we have established the Bühler Networking Days, which we host every three years in Uzwil, Switzerland. 

Bühler is an independent, family-owned enterprise in the fifth generation. Our strategy is founded in this set-up and the premise of its continuation. 

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