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Eric Borremans: Socially responsible investing
Eric Borremans ’92 is currently Head of Sustainability Research at BNP Paribas Asset Management. He previously worked as a principal consultant for the Sustainable Asset Management Group (SAM), a firm that concentrates on environmentally sustainable investing and is best known for its Dow Jones Sustainability Group Index. The index was formed in partnership with Dow Jones & Company and tracks leading sustainability-driven companies across the globe.
A native of Brussels, Borremans earned an undergraduate degree in business management and finance from Brussels University. Not long after his arrival at Columbia, he began to integrate his financial background into evolving environmental issues. Convinced that environmental concerns would become a major influence in business, he specialized in environmental management.
Borremans credits the School with opening doors to the industry of which he increasingly saw himself becoming a part. “My concentration gave me my entry ticket into the world of environmental consultancy,” he says. “It’s really thanks to Columbia and the flexibility I had that I could get interviews with some environmental firms that otherwise I might not have been able to.”
After graduation, Borremans joined Environmental Resources Management, an international environmental consulting firm. Working with such corporations as Philip Morris and Procter & Gamble, he helped companies maintain environmental regulatory minimums while gaining competitive and strategic advantages.
Over the course of the intervening decade, Borremans has observed a change in the direction from which environmental pressures influence corporations. “There’s been a shift in emphasis,” he says. “The pressure is coming from investors now, and boardrooms have recognized that the environment is a business issue that can affect their bottom line.” He looks forward to the task of bringing global sustainability to other corporations.