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INCAE on Sustainability

Issues related to sustainability and responsible leadership have been an integral part of INCAE's business model and mission for over 25 years now, making it a leading institution in Sustainable Development.

"I recommend that my fellow business leaders take an interest in the society that surrounds them, because that interest is the best and most effective warning system to detect both risks and opportunities."   

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

  • students chose a specialization in sustainability

  • sessions carried out in 2015 and 2016 dealt with topics related to responsible management

  • teaching materials have to do with responsible management

  • wildlife species can be found at the Francisco de Sola Campus

Milestones in sustainability

  • Sustainability has been a part of INCAE's history from the very beginning
  • INCAE was one of the first business schools in the world to launch a Master's program focusing on the management of natural resources

To learn more about INCAE's primary achievements in sustainability, visit our timeline.


Collaboration between INCAE and the Government of Nicaragua after the earthquake of 1972: as a gesture of gratitude towards the country hostings it's headquarters, INCAE offered their professional resources, and image as an institution, to help with the cause. Aid began with a study carried out by faculty members along with the collaboration of the government of Nicaragua.


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


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

  • The Master Program in Natural Resources Management is launched.
  • This is also the first year that the Business Leadership Program in Sustainable Development, a program designed to motivate and train a new generation of leaders who understand the challenges that the need for sustainability imposes on companies, was offered.

INCAE awarded an honorary doctorate to Swiss entrepreneur and philanthropist Stephan Schmidheiny. Thanks to his influence, INCAE commits itself, as an institution, to sustainability, making it a key element of its academic approach, positioning and differentiation.


The first seminar on natural resources and sustainable development was held and, thanks to an agreement with the Latin American Organizational Management Institute (ILGO), INCAE was able to attract leaders of industrial and trade union organizations from across the region.


The Latin American Center for Competitiveness and Sustainable Development (CLACDS) was established.


The paper entitled Central America in the 21st Century; an Agenda for Competitiveness and Sustainable Development was presented to the Central American community. The document, in addition to outlining an agenda of changes for issues such as infrastructure, customs integration, investment attraction, tourism, agro-industry and maquila, also contemplated issues of sustainability.


Eco-efficiency Management is included as a required course. With this, INCAE became the first business school in the region to incorporate eco-efficiency as a compulsory subject in its teaching program. During that same year, Principles of Sustainable Development, an introductory and required course for all students, is included to the Master's program, beginning with the Sustainability Management Program.

  • The Latin American Network of Universities for Quality and Sustainable Development, directed by INCAE, was established..
  • The BATCCA (British American Tobacco Caribbean & Central America) - INCAE agreement was signed, establishing a research chair called "BATCCA Chair on Corporate Social Responsibility"

INCAE and the Poma Foundation signed an agreement creating the Poma Foundation Chair for the Relief of Poverty in the Central American region.


Students from Carlson, Rollins and Thunderbird business schools, along with INCAE MBA students, participated in a seminar on the fundamentals of sustainability.


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


The Executive Residence Building, which incorporates sustainability criteria in its design and operation, is inaugurated on the Walter Kissing Gam campus.

Our People

Sustainability is an intrinsic part of INCAE and our vision of what we want to do as an organization. This vision and mission extends to all areas and we strive to create a series of classes and courses to support it. We consistently address sustainability from a general perspective, but we also work towards including aspects that measure environmental costs to further enhance the term, thus including both environmental and economic sustainability.

Arnoldo Rodríguez
INCAE Professor. Field: Accounting

Here in Technology, we have come to understand the importance of the efficient use of resources, which is why we have implemented a series of actions that has allowed us to improve our performance and generate savings for the institution.

We have replaced computers with energy efficient equipment and have consolidated over 20 servers on two computers, significantly reducing the consumption of electricity.

Juan Pablo Salinas
Director of the Department of Technology

Aquileo believes that the key word at INCAE is sustainability. "I believe that, in this day and age, any company that claims to be serious, that really wants to cultivate its social license to operate and grow, must have a very strong sustainability component."

Aquileo Sánchez
Director of Corporate Affairs - Wal-Mart Central America and Mexico


Breakthrough Innovation Challenge (BIC)

INCAE MBA Entrepreneurship students participated in the Breakthrough Innovation Challenge (BIC) for the first time. INCAE ranked among the top seven, of over 100 teams who participated from five continents. The other participants that also made it to the top seven were from the Philippines, India, South Africa and Central America.