Swiss technology group Bühler brought together over 1,000 decision makers from the food, feed and mobility sectors at its Networking Days in Uzwil on June 27-28 to “accelerate impact together.” This unique, convening event was created by Bühler in 2016 and is held every three years.
At the center of the many keynotes, panels and technology demonstrations was the question: How can we enable 10 billion people (by 2050) to live a good life within the boundaries of our planet? The event focused on leadership, technology, education, inspiration and action across international industry boundaries. It highlighted examples of companies that provide tangible impact on mitigating climate change, eradicating poverty, creating employment, protecting and restoring nature and improving food security.
“Global industry has excellent examples of companies that are highly responsible, applying innovative technologies at the heart of their transformation, and through this, becoming economically healthier and addressing sustainability at the same time,” says Bühler CEO Stefan Scheiber. “In fact, despite all the challenges we are facing–from climate change to food and energy insecurity to supply chain issues and social disruptions through to wars–I am convinced we can turn things around. Innovative technologies offer many business opportunities when they also address sustainability issues. We must not shy away from seizing these opportunities.”
During the event, customers and partners along with Bühler demonstrated that the rate of innovation is accelerating. Highlighted were solutions from global companies, extraordinary entrepreneurs, start-ups, academia and NGOs–all illustrating that solutions to global challenges can be found and delivered at an impactful scale. Vital to all of this is education and training and the role they play in building the skills for the impactful jobs of the future.
Through all of this, the Networking Days created an exceptional collaboration platform for sharing, learning, networking, partnering and most importantly, for creating positive impact. A stark reminder of the need for collaboration is unfolding in front of our eyes. Food scarcity is increasing as a result of conflict, and we can see the terrible consequences on the poorest populations where food security was already an issue.
Tangible examples of companies that balance nature, humanity and economy in their decisions were shared at the Networking Days. Among them: a coffee company from Norway, which reduces CO2e emissions by 85% in its new facility; an entrepreneur in Angola, who has built a gigantic industrial food complex as a huge first step towards providing self-sufficient food security across the country; a battery manufacturer in the UK who is building Europe’s first Gigaplant with new mixing processes, reducing waste in the production process by 80%; and a miller in India who is making tortillas in a plant that reduces water consumption by 84% and eliminates wastewater. Many other companies in attendance are transforming the food system with sustainably delivered plant-based proteins. These are just a few examples of the many businesses using proven technologies.
Understanding that no single entity–be it a country, a company or an individual–has the resources, know-how or reach to tackle the global challenges that we face, Bühler established the Networking Days in 2016 to bring together and nurture its growing global ecosystem of partners.
“We need massive collaboration among industry, start-ups, academia, educators, politics, NGOs and the public to manage and limit the effects of climate change, loss of biodiversity, and eliminate poverty,” says Bühler CTO Ian Roberts. With 50 partners and start-ups taking an active part at the Bühler Networking Days, the idea of a global ecosystem has created momentum: At the event, Bühler celebrated and announced multiple partnerships that will facilitate the transition towards more efficient food and feed production and accelerate the transformation towards sustainable mobility.
Developing novel solutions is important to transform industry, however, the potential optimization of existing industry assets across the world is the biggest short-term lever for reducing CO2e footprint. Bühler is showcasing services, technologies and solutions that can optimize existing assets, provide a pathway to CO2e reduction in new plants and support the development of new, more sustainable diets and mobility solutions.
“Our biggest impact comes from supporting our customers in reducing their energy consumption, waste generation, and water usage and at the same time ensure productivity and yield. We have clear targets on these topics. By expanding our collaborative ecosystem, we can accelerate meaningful and lasting impact in the food, feed, and mobility industries,” says Stefan Scheiber.