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INCAE on Sustainability

For more than 25 years, issues related to sustainability and responsible leadership have been an integral part of INCAE's business model and mission, making it currently a leading institution in Sustainable Development.

¨I recommend to my fellow business leaders that they take an interest in the society that surrounds them, since this interest constitutes the best and fastest warning system, both to detect risks and opportunities.¨    

Stephan schmidheiny
Emeritus Director of the Board of Directors of INCAE
Founder of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development

INCAE Genetic Code

  • Students choosing the concentration in sustainability

  • Sessions with topics related to responsible management in 2015 and 2016

  • Teaching materials that are related to responsible management

  • Wild Fauna Species in Campus Francisco de Sola

Milestones in sustainability

  • INCAE has a history of sustainability since its inception.
  • It was one of the first business schools in the world to have launched a master's program focused on natural resource management.

Learn more about INCAE's main achievements in sustainability in our timeline.


INCAE's collaboration with the Government of Nicaragua in the 1972 earthquake; As a duty of gratitude to the country that had hosted its headquarters, it put its professional resources and its image as an institution at the service of the cause. The aid began with a study carried out by members of the faculty, with the collaboration of the government of that country.


With the opening of the Walter Kissling Gam campus, three programs financed by the Inter-American Development Bank began: Management of Non-Traditional Exports, Policy and Management of Energy Resources and Small and Medium Enterprises.


Energy and Materials Management Program led by professors Robert W. Mullins and Álvaro Umaña. It went from being an elective course in the Master's programs to becoming a series of executive and policy-making seminars that later formed the basis on which the first eco-efficiency and sustainable development programs were developed and presented.

  • The Master's Program in Natural Resource Management begins.
  • The Business Leadership in Sustainable Development Program is also started, designed to motivate and train a new generation of leaders to understand the great challenges that the need for sustainability imposed on companies.

INCAE awards an honorary doctorate to Swiss businessman and philanthropist Stephan Schmidheiny. Thanks to its influence, INCAE would be institutionally committed to the objective of sustainable development until it becomes one of the central elements of its academic approaches, of its positioning and of the differentiation of its sources of growth. 


The first seminar on natural resources and sustainable development is held and, through an agreement with the Latin American Institute of Organizational Management (ILGO), leaders of industrial and trade union organizations in the region are attracted to INCAE.


Foundation of the Latin American Center for Competitiveness and Sustainable Development (CLACDS) 


The work entitled Central America in the XXI Century, an Agenda for Competitiveness and Sustainable Development. The document, in addition to outlining an agenda of changes on issues such as infrastructure, customs integration, investment attraction, tourism, agro-industry and maquila, also raised the issues of sustainability 


Eco-efficiency Management is included as a compulsory subject. Thus, INCAE became the first business school in the region to incorporate eco-efficiency as a compulsory subject in its teaching program. In this same year, the introductory and compulsory course for all students, called Principles of Sustainable Development, is included in the master's degree. It begins with the Sustainability Management Program

  • The Latin American Network of Universities for Quality and Sustainable Development is established, directed by INCAE.
  • Signing of the BATCCA (British American Tobacco Caribbean & Central America) - INCAE agreement that establishes a research chair called "BATCCA Chair of Social Enterprise and Corporate Social Responsibility" 

INCAE and the Poma Foundation sign an agreement that creates the Poma Foundation Chair for the alleviation of poverty in the Central American region.


Students from the Carlson, Rollins and Thunderbird business schools, along with first-year MBA students from INCAE, participate in a seminar on sustainability fundamentals.


The Harry Strachan Chair in Philanthropy and Social Investment of INCAE is established 


Inauguration of the Executive Residences Building on the WKG campus, incorporating sustainability criteria in its design and operation

Our people

The issue of sustainability is an intrinsic part of INCAE and of the vision of what we want to be as an organization. This vision and mission flow to the different areas, we try to generate a series of classes and series of courses that support this theme. The issue is constantly being worked on from a general perspective but it is about including aspects of environmental cost measurement that broadens the horizon of the word sustainability, speaking not only of economic but also environmental sustainability.

Arnoldo Rodriguez
INCAE professor. Teaching area: Accounting

On the part of the Technology Area, we have understood the importance of the efficient use of resources and therefore, we have carried out a series of actions that have made it possible to improve performance and generate savings in the institution.

Computers have been replaced by equipment with lower consumption, We have consolidated more than 20 servers in 2 computers, significantly reducing electricity consumption. 

John Paul Salinas
Director of the Department of Technology

He considers that the keyword at INCAE is sustainability: "I believe that today no company that claims to be serious, that really wants to cultivate its social license to operate and grow, can dispense with a very strong component of sustainability."

Aquileo Sanchez
Director of Corporate Affairs - Walmart de Centroamérica y México


Breakthrough Innovation Challenge (BIC)

For the first time, INCAE MBA in Entrepreneurship students participate in the Breakthrough Innovation Challenge (BIC) and managed to classify among the seven finalists of more than 100 teams, from the five continents, the other participants who reached the final come from places such as : The Philippines, India, South Africa and Central America; the winning team will be chosen on September 21 in New York, U.S.

Is it possible to free cities from traffic jams?

A CNN note, comments on how INCAE's CLADCS, in alliance with the Municipality of Alajuela, works together to convert the city of Alajuela, Costa Rica into a “smart city” and sustainable. The complete study is available at the following link.