Social contribution

Bühler’s success depends on people, collaboration, and the ecosystems we build. On an individual level, it is about building awareness of global challenges and making changes. On a company level, it is about valuing our most important resource – our employees. 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 impact. 


Social contribution

Bühler’s success depends on people, collaboration, and the ecosystems we build. On an individual level, it is about building awareness of global challenges and making changes. On a company level, it is about valuing our most important resource – our employees. 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 impact. 

The safety, health, and well-being of Bühler employees is our top priority. Aligned with our corporate values of Trust, Ownership, and Passion (TOP), we all take responsibility for ensuring each other’s safety. Rules and procedures are essential to any safe workplace, but it is only by developing and nurturing the right mindset within every employee that we can achieve true impact. It means not just seeing our employees as a resource but considering the mental and physical well-being of each individual within the Bühler family. 

This requires a range of approaches. Providing lifelong learning to employees allows people to adapt and develop the skills needed to keep pace with a quickly evolving and challenging work environment. Emphasizing inclusivity in the workplace allows employees to feel valued and appreciated. Upholding our TOP values provides the basis for how we work and collaborate. Every employee demands a degree of workplace flexibility. With 12,485 employees fulfilling thousands of different tasks, we have adopted a role-specific approach to meeting this need rather than attempting to impose a one-size-fits-all approach. It is within the responsibility of our people leaders who know their teams best. 

Our on-boarding programs ensure that each new employee cohort is introduced to our corporate culture within the first few months of joining us, on a local as well as on a global level.

Our recruitment processes aim to recognize early those who will flourish best at Bühler while we also develop programs that focus on the changing needs of our existing employees as they mature through the various phases of their careers. 


TOP culture of inclusive diversity

Building a culture of inclusion, with the TOP values as a compass, continues to be core to Bühler’s people and talent management strategy. 

The first step to inclusion, is awareness about one’s own blind spots. Therefore, we continued our core training ‘Beyond Bias’. In 2023, over 200 colleagues participated in workshops to understand their individual biases and how they influence their judgement.  

In building a culture of inclusive diversity to drive performance and innovation, an overarching theme in 2023 was the concept of leaders as allies. It is only when team members feel they can bring their full selves to the workplace that they can truly deliver and perform. This can only happen in work environments where an alliance exists between team leaders and team members to encourage the principles of inclusivity and psychological safety. The 2023 People Leadership Series therefore focused on leaders as allies. Over 500 people leaders from across the Bühler world participated in this learning journey, which was run in cooperation with Edit Development.

In 2023, Bühler rolled out TOP Interview Training, a standardized way of conducting interviews and carrying out recruitment to ensure that potential candidates align with Bühler’s values. Bühler also recognizes that the faster new employees can familiarize themselves with the organization, the quicker they can become effective. To help with onboarding, quarterly virtual global onboarding sessions were launched to support new recruits. They meet an Executive Board member, learn about the company, and have the chance to network with each other.

As part of its TOP culture of inclusive diversity, in 2023 Bühler established a new movement called Generation Experience, or Generation E. It is employee led and targeted at colleagues who are transitioning into the later phases of their career and so may be looking for a new work/life balance, want to work part time, or feel they could mentor younger generations. The program also offers a health perspective for those who are part of the baby boomer generation. Generation E is part of a range of programs aimed at the more experienced employee. 

Harnessing the power of our people to drive innovation is key to our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) commitment. A key lever to put this into action is the global Innovation Challenge that was held again in 2023. The theme in 2023 was “harvest the fruits”, focusing on how we can better utilize the technologies we already have and improve market absorption. All employees globally were invited to present their ideas, which were then voted for by all colleagues globally. The top 10 teams chosen out of a total of 425 ideas were invited to Uzwil, where they were provided feedback and support to perfect their pitches before presenting to the Executive Board. The winning team’s idea around automated carbon tracking was chosen for its maturity, feasibility, and strategic fit. 

In 2023 Bühler formalized its commitment to building and strengthening an inclusive culture of diversity and equity by publishing a formal DE&I statement.

Culture of lifelong learning

In 2023, we focused on developing the agility of our employees to help each individual develop the skills that enable them to remain efficient and employable throughout their careers. In addition to developing technical skills, we want colleagues to have the soft skills to face the changing and sometimes unpredictable demands of the workplace with confidence. To help develop resilience Bühler has introduced an employee agility concept, which takes the individual through a five-step program starting with self-reflection, moving to a period of peer-to-peer exchange, and concluding with the setting of personal development objectives.

Bühler continues to develop the B-Learning platform, which delivers a broad range of learning opportunities through videos, e-learnings, classroom trainings, webinars, and mobile apps. We also continue to develop our Employee Performance Management (EPM) system to ensure employees receive the right career support and help when establishing targets and developing training plans.

Training offering for our customers

We extend our culture of lifelong learning to our customers, as well with our Application & Training Centers and specialist schools around the world.

Bühler has Application & Training Centers in 25 locations, some of which cover multiple industrial applications located around the globe where we offer dedicated trainings for our customers and provide them with a platform to test new product ideas and experiment with product innovations. Bühler’s Application & Training Centers also provide the opportunity to share knowledge and learn from specialists while providing access to the latest generation of Bühler technologies and so support customers in providing learning to their employees.

We continue to offer lifelong learning to our customers through our different specialist schools around the globe, including the Milling Academy in Uzwil, Switzerland, the African Milling School in Nairobi, Kenya, the Cocoa Competence Center CFIA, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, and the International Rice Milling Academy in Bengaluru, India. For example, at our African Milling school in Nairobi, Kenya, 25 Apprentice Millers graduated in 2023 and over 230 students have completed courses. Since its opening in 2015, over 1,300 students have trained at the African Milling School. Students come from over 25 countries including Nigeria, Egypt, Algeria, Azerbajian, Pakistan, Oman, Sudan, Burundi, Rwanda, Ghana, Cameroun, Guinea, Senegal, Lebanon, and Jordan. Courses are offered in English and French, and include Wheat Milling, Feed Milling, Maize Milling, Baking Technology and Flour Lab, Electrical and Mechanical Maintenance, Optical Sorting. Over 80 Bühler employees also participated in courses at the African Milling School in 2023.

The outside view of African Milling school in Nairobi, Kenya. The outside view of African Milling school in Nairobi, Kenya. The outside view of African Milling school in Nairobi, Kenya.

In 2023, Bühler joined forces with Aiducation International, Syngenta, and Swiss Study Foundation to launch a Kenyan summer school initiative exploring how to sustainably develop Africa’s contribution to the global food ecosystem. Over ten days 36 students engaged in insightful sessions, thought-provoking discussions, and exciting field trips, including visits to Bühler customers to learn about the diversity and richness of the food system and its opportunities. Each student completed the course by presenting their innovative solution to an expert jury. 

Food safety and sustainability training for customers and employees

Food safety training plays a vital role in our business, for our customers and employees. In 2023, 692 employees received food safety training, of whom 37 attended intensive workshops (more than 1 day). Since we began the food safety training in 2010, in total 6,903 colleagues have been trained, of whom 1,319 have attended intensive workshops. For our customers, we have held 12 customer events in 2023 with food safety on the agenda, in Switzerland, China, India, US, Canada, and Mexico, as well as global online webinars. 

In 2023, we provided sustainability training for 770 people including external trainings for customers and technical schools, as well as internal training programs for Bühler sales, R&D, and management. We ran 39 webinars, conferences, and workshops on the topic. The external trainings, which reached approximately 403 people, included conferences, events, courses, and tailored 1:1 knowledge transfer workshop with Bühler environmental impact services. 

In all trainings (external and internal), Bühler embedded sustainability knowledge as a key element to promote awareness on the topic and support enabling our people, customers, and ecosystems to implement effective strategies and solutions to reach impact reduction targets.

Vocational training: skilling up the next generation

In 2023, Bühler trained 544 apprentices globally, 293 of whom were trained in Switzerland. Apprenticeship programs are run in 23 locations across Europe, North and South America, Middle East and Africa, and South Asia. These apprenticeships are based on the Swiss dual-vocational model, a global benchmark that has been adapted by other countries, where students receive a mix of practical and academic training. These three-and-four-year courses cover nine different vocational fields with courses continually evolving to meet the changing skill sets required by companies. Of those completing their apprenticeships in August 2023, 82% of them chose employment with Bühler. A new cohort of 85 apprentices, of whom 20% were women, joined the new intake 2023. Since the foundation of the program in 1915, 8,333 apprentices have trained at Bühler in Switzerland.

Thirteen of the 52 apprentices who qualified for IndustrySkills 2023, held in Bern and Uzwil, came from the Bühler talent pool, six of whom won awards. In the discipline Industry 4.0, Maurin Schickli won gold. The second gold medal was awarded to Florentin Kaufmann, who took first place as an automation technician. Both have the chance to represent Bühler at the WorldSkills 2024 in Lyon and earn medals by winning the SwissSkills Championships. IndustrySkills 2023 was partially hosted in the new Bühler Energy Center. We are proud to announce that Bühler apprentice Noel Rhyner qualified for the national Schweizer Jugend forscht competition, which is a first for Bühler.

Bühler Apprentice Bühler Apprentice Bühler Apprentice

Maurin Schickli Maurin Schickli Maurin Schickli
Florentine Kauffmann Florentine Kauffmann Florentine Kauffmann
Noel Rhyner Noel Rhyner Noel Rhyner

As part of the vocational learning program, Bühler is also focusing on upskilling the trainers who deliver the learning programs at our training centers around the globe. The program aims to help trainers better blend online and face-to-face training, plan effective learning paths, make online training more interactive, and provide coaching skills for learning facilitators. 

To help our apprentices familiarize themselves with Bühler’s culture and learn virtually about the Bühler campus in Uzwil, the TOP Trail app was launched. Plans are in place to role this out globally.

Caring about the person not just the employee

Bühler Energy Center Bühler Energy Center Bühler Energy Center, Uzwil, Switzerland

The June 2023 opening of the Bühler Energy Center at our headquarters in Uzwil, Switzerland, is a manifestation of our holistic approach to the health and well-being of our employees. The Bühler Energy Center has three pillars of focus.

The first is Health & Lifestyle, with a focus on health management, where employees of all ages are able to enhance their individual health skills and stay fit. Information is also given on nutrition, exercise, recreation, and stress management while health consultations on travel and fitness, along with lifestyle checkups are available.

The second pillar is Lifelong Learning, with a focus on vocational and adult education, offering state-of-the-art training opportunities for automation technicians, plant and apparatus engineers, polymechanics, design engineers, commercial apprentices, computer scientists and more. It is setting a new milestone for lifelong learning providing colleagues with the tools for long-term and sustainable success. New didactic methods developed with the University of Applied Sciences in St. Gallen take into account individual learning needs and interests.

Finally, there is the Prototyping & Production pillar with a focus on new manufacturing technologies. This is where prototypes and functional models as well as series parts for our products are produced enabling professional cooperation between the research and development departments of the business units.

These three pillars form the basis for well-being, performance, and resilience while having a significant impact on creativity and innovative strength. They are also important for maintaining business continuity, especially under difficult or changing conditions. 

High performance leadership

Creating a caring culture across the company also requires skilled and empathetic leadership. Throughout 2023 Bühler has continued to strengthen its leadership capability by running targeted programs suitable for employees at different points of experience and seniority.

Over recent years Bühler has developed its TOP leadership program, which took the hundred most senior leaders and provided them with the tools to drive culture transformation through high performance teams. These principles continue to be rolled out throughout the organization to ensure that all our team leaders have the skills to create a culture of inclusion, psychological safety, and trust while providing the sort of effective feedback that helps drive performance. In 2023 we have run over 100 workshops for leaders and their teams, in total for over 1,000 participants to help embed this methodology throughout the organization so that our teams can perform at their best to help Bühler deliver on our purpose of innovations for a better world.   

In the course of 2023 Bühler has expanded its local flagship Basics in Bühler Management (BBM) program beyond Switzerland to a European regional level to enable a far wider networking community from a diverse group of managers from across Europe. These pan-European networks will become the bedrock for the future exchange of ideas and support. 


The MBM class of 2023 celebrating their successful program graduation The MBM class of 2023 celebrating their successful program graduation The MBM class of 2023 celebrating their successful program graduation
The ALP class of 2023 during their face-to-face module at Ashridge, United Kingdom The ALP class of 2023 during their face-to-face module at Ashridge, United Kingdom The ALP class of 2023 during their face-to-face module at Ashridge, United Kingdom

In 2023, we ran our global Masters in Bühler Management (MBM), where we take around 30 mid-level leaders from across the globe with high potential on a year-long journey to further develop their abilities to lead and manage teams and strengthen their business acumen and innovation capabilities. Participants are challenged to balance short-term operational thinking with a longer-term strategic view. The program is run in cooperation with HULT/EF Corporate Education and run in a hybrid format with two face-to-face training weeks and all other relevant content taught in online sessions. During the closing week, participants have the opportunity to visit the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and exchange with and learn from startups from the MassChallenge network. To enhance their understanding of business innovation these future leaders also work on their own business projects, each one being sponsored by the Executive Board, and present their findings to Bühler business leaders.

In 2023 we were pleased to see colleagues from China participate again in person in development programs. They participated both in the Advanced Leadership Program (ALP), our global leadership development program for experienced leaders, as well as in the Excelerator Developmental Assessment Centers, where we recognize high potential talents, develop their specific needs, and then develop them to greatest effect from within the company.

Sales and service engineer academies

Bühler’s Sales Academy and Service Academy focus on upskilling the global salesforce and field engineers with dedicated onboarding and training programs. This ensures that frontline staff are highly adaptable and able to react quickly to dynamic market changes. Up to the end August, the Service Academy in collaboration with other academies delivered 34 courses through the B-Learning platform with a total of 7,995 hours and 346 attendees. It also achieved 91% completion on LOTO (Lock-Out Tag-Out) safety training in Field Service and Workshops. Together the Service Academy and the Sales Academy developed a global Sales Skills Matrix template and ran a pilot with two regions. Together they also developed a soft-skills training on communication basics for field service engineers.

Bühler is also dedicating resources and time to developing sales and field service engineer skills. In 2023, Bühler launched its “Financial and Commercial for Sales – Level 1” pilot in Europe and India with more than 40 sales colleagues trained to date and a full rollout expected in 2024. An “Effective Communication for Sales” pilot module was launched with 12 participants, with full roll out expected throughout 2024. Over the past 2.5 years, 405 sales colleagues have received training through the existing “Transitional Sales Workshop”.

Educational partnerships

Partnership is fundamental to Bühler’s working practices, a principle that extends to helping develop the next generation of business talent. We continue to support Partners in Food Solutions (PFS), an independent nonprofit organization, to help strengthen food security, nutrition, and economic development in Africa by providing volunteer consultation to African entrepreneurs in the food sector. Over the year 68 Bühler employees engaged in 71 different activities contributing more than 870 hours while working with 60 customers across ten countries. PFS estimates that by sharing Bühler expertise it has helped a supplier base of more than 171,000 farmers and helped produce nearly 6.2 billion nutritious meal servings.

In partnership with ETH Zurich in Switzerland and Ashesi University in Ghana, Bühler offers a Masters in Mechatronic Engineering to develop young talents in Africa and bridge the gap between academia and the professional world. Every year interviews are held for industry partners to evaluate and sponsor students for the program. Once enrolled, the students begin their academic course in the university and visit the Bühler offices twice every year to undergo training. In 2023, Bühler sponsored three students to the Masters in Mechatronics studies. Currently we have nine students under our sponsorship. 

Bühler also works in partnership with UNITECH International, a leadership development program for talented STEM students comprised of eight distinguished technical universities and 14 multinational companies. Throughout their UNITECH year, students undergo a coaching and training program to build the required skills to interact optimally in the corporate world. Bühler has participated in a variety of UNITECH events, including the Mid-term Week, Fireside Chat, General Assembly, and Career Interviews while providing two coaches to support students through their program development and assignments. Bühler has also hosted nine interns in a Germany and Switzerland.

Working in collaboration with Leeds University in the UK and ZHAW School of Management and Law in Switzerland, in 2023 Bühler hosted two groups of students − 30 MSc Human Resources Management and Management students in April, and 20 MSc International Business students in June. The visits included a presentation on Bühler and HR topics, an insight into Generation B and sustainability at Bühler, and tours of the Application & Training Centers and the CUBIC Innovation Campus to help them gain insight into Bühler’s business.

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