SWITZERLAND – Bühler, a global food equipment and services company, has committed to reducing energy requirements, water consumption, and waste by 50% in its customers’ value chains.

Stefan Scheiber, CEO of Bühler Group made the commitment during this year’s Networking Days in Uzwil, Switzerland.

Governed by the motto “Creating tomorrow together,” over 800 decision-makers and partners of the global food and mobility industries convened in the event to deliberate on how to feed the rising global population sustainably and healthily.

Scheiber observed that industry, research, and politics must use new and sustainable technologies to cope with climate change challenges and that the various players must work together toward this goal.

The “industry must become part of the solution,” Scheiber insisted.

“Climate change and the demands of our growing population are huge challenges. At the same time, we live in the best world in history. And never have we had such powerful technologies at our disposal,” Scheiber noted.

More challenging situations

Recent figures indicate that there is an enormous need for action to build sustainable value chains in food and feed production and mobility.

Notably, whereas three years ago it was estimated that the global population would rise to about 9 billion by 2050, it is now growing much faster and is currently projected that global population will reach 10 billion by then.

In addition, global warming is increasing. Agriculture accounts for 25 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions and 71 percent of all fresh-water consumption.

Food production accounts for 30 percent of global energy consumption, with 30 percent of all food being wasted or discarded despite about 800 million people facing food insecurity.

“The coming ten years will decide what heritage we will pass on to the future generations,” says Ian Roberts, Chief Technology Officer of Bühler.

“We must act now. We must collaborate within our entire ecosystem. And we must radically change our behavior as industries, as companies, and as individuals.”

Bühler raises sustainability targets

Bühler has therefore decided to increase its sustainability goals and to add water as a new aspect, targeting to make its next-generation process solutions become 50 percent more efficient.

“We have not changed our targets because we have achieved our original goal of 30 percent, but because we have concluded that they are simply not high enough,” says Roberts.

In order to achieve these goals, Bühler is exploiting the possibilities of digitalization and partnering with customers, suppliers, and start-ups – to develop solutions meeting or even exceeding these goals.

“We are focusing our research and development spending and our partnerships on these new 50-percent targets. And we are convinced that this will produce good business models,” says Roberts.

At this year’s Networking Days, Bühler also presented solutions that contribute to its sustainability targets even today.