While we may pursue a business combination target in any business or industry, we intend to focus our efforts primarily on identifying businesses that offer products, services and technologies that, in addition to serving the needs of customers, generate positive impacts for the environment — we refer to such companies as belonging to the “sustainability sector.” We believe that sustainability is reshaping many industries and creating numerous areas of investment opportunity and is driven by important long-term secular trends, including:
Change in Consumer Sentiment
Consumer behavior and expectations are changing rapidly, with consumers demanding that enterprises commit to more sustainable business practices. Furthermore, consumer preferences are also shifting away from products and services that are detrimental to the environment and towards sustainable products and services, challenging entrenched business models and reshaping organizational behavior. For example, in a study conducted by the Nielsen Company, 66% of consumers said they were willing to pay more for sustainable brands.
Increase in Corporate Sustainability Initiatives
Corporate executives increasingly believe sustainability is important to their company’s success, and are thus developing sustainability strategies, marketing sustainable products and services, creating positions such as chief sustainability officer, and publishing sustainability reports for consumers, investors, activists, and the public at large. These strategies are going beyond reputation management and include activities, such as saving energy, reducing waste, reducing emissions and utilizing more sustainable supply chains in order to capture value through growth and return on capital.
Emergence of Technology Developments
Technological innovation is having a significant impact on enhancing the customer value proposition, while also accelerating the achievement of environmental, economic and social sustainability objectives. A recent survey conducted by KRC Research reports that 86% of corporate executives believe that emerging technologies will drive their business’ bottom line while improving their environmental impact.
Proliferation of Digitalization
Digital transformation is playing a significant role in the adoption of sustainable solutions as companies integrate digital technology into all areas of their business resulting in fundamental changes to how they operate and how they deliver value to customers. Whether it is the use of intelligent energy networks to transform legacy power generation and distribution systems, IoT-enabled home automation to more efficiently manage resources and reduce waste, or artificial intelligence to identify the most cost-effective and least resource-intensive crop farming methods, digitalization offers the potential for transformational impact.
Expansion of Government Action
In December 2019, the United Nations announced that 75 countries are targeting “net-zero” carbon emissions by 2050. Nations worldwide are adopting policies and allocating significant capital investments to address climate challenges. While the United States does not have a comprehensive federal policy relating to climate change, there are numerous rules and regulations that promote sustainability. Furthermore, state and local governments are taking meaningful actions against climate change and building a clean energy economy.