Bühler Networking Days Focuses on Sustainability


Over 800 decision-makers and partners of the global food and mobility industries are meeting August 26-27, 2019 to attend the second Bühler Networking Days in Uzwil. The focus of the two-day event is on sustainability with the goal of answering the question of how it will be possible in 2050 to feed a global population of almost 10bn people and how to ensure their mobility.

“Climate change and the demands of our growing population are a huge challenge. At the same time, we live in the best world in history. And never have we had such power technologies at our disposal,” says Stefan Scheiber, CEO of Bühler Group.

He adds that the crucial point is that industry, research, and politics must use these new and sustainable technologies to cope with these challenges and that these various players must work together toward this goal. Another important point for him is a change of perception: “Industry must become part of the solution.” The event is hosted under the “Creating tomorrow together” motto.

Bühler has invited a series of speakers to the Networking Days, including Gro Harlem Brundtland, the former Norwegian prime minister and a decades-long important voice on climate change; Stefan Palzer, Chief Technology Officer of Nestlé; Patrick Dupin, CEO of Saint Gobain Northern Europe, Francois Pienaar, who led South Africa to victory in the 1995 Rugby World Cup; Sunny Verghese, co-founder and CEO of Olam International and chair of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, and John Harthorne, the founder of the start-up accelerator MassChallange.

The talks will focus on the enormous need for action to build sustainable value chains in food and feed production and mobility. Just a few figures demonstrate this: Whereas three years ago it was assumed that the global population would rise to about 9bn by 2050, it is now growing much faster. Now it is expected to hit 10bn.

At the same time, global warming is increasing. The chances are dwindling that it can be limited to below 1.5 degrees centigrade. Agriculture accounts for 25% of all greenhouse gas emissions and 71% of all fresh-water consumption. Food production accounts for 30 percent of global energy consumption, with 30% of all food being wasted or discarded. Despite this, 800m people are still going hungry. Of eight million animal and plant species, roughly one million are in acute danger of extinction because of climate change and the destruction of their habitats.

At the Networking Days, Bühler is also presenting solutions that contribute to its sustainability targets even today. A few examples can be found below:

  • Energy-efficient wafer baking oven SWAKT-ECO: A novel heating concept slashes gas consumption by as much as 25% and emissions by up to 90%
  • Safe foods with Laatu, the new technology for microbial reduction. Safe low energy electrons destroy 99.99% of all salmonellae in dry products such as spices. In comparison to steam treatment, Laatu cuts energy usage by as much as 80%, while water requirements and the application of chemicals is reduced to zero.
  • QuaLiB: Bühler has developed a quality verification process for mixing the electrode slurries used in lithium-ion batteries that applies data-based algorithms in order to ensure that only the very best slurry quality will make it to the next production stage. QuaLiB is capable of preventing over 1000 kilograms of waste per week (based on an output of 1000 kilograms per hour).

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