According to Larry Fink, CEO of the world’s largest asset manager BlackRock, “sustainable investing will become a core component of how everybody invests in the future”. In Fink’s opinion, this does not mean investors needing to sacrifice returns; on the contrary, investors will enjoy greater returns than from non-sustainable investments. One of the current dominant themes in global investment is the growing appetite among consumers (particularly millennials), private investors and institutional investors to buy and invest more responsibly. And this is something the M&A sector is catching on to.

It’s no secret that large energy firms are rapidly snapping up smaller renewable power businesses, while industries from tech to automotive to energy are scrambling to boost their green credentials. Major changes are underway in all these markets and, in some cases, there is the prospect of a total turnaround in consumer demands over the coming decades.

For many growing companies, however, it is difficult, if not impossible, to turn their business green overnight. An easier approach is to buy up smaller firms with a pre-existing ethical business model. In this piece, we’ll examine this phenomenon in more detail and consider whether SMEs can adopt a similar approach to help them benefit from the growing trend for ethical consumerism

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