Manfred Kopper

Ashoka Fellow
San Jose, Costa Rica
Fellow Since 2013


This profile was prepared when Manfred Kopper was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2013.
The New Idea
Manfred has developed an environmental program that has built the first-ever partnership between the private and the public sectors in Costa Rica to ensure the country achieves carbon neutrality by 2020, a goal for the country established by then-President and 2006 Nobel Prize recipient, Oscar Arias. Through these public-private partnerships Manfred’s program has achieved legitimacy and the necessary support to propel his program into a systems-changing vehicle that allows the private sector to not only meet environmental legislation requirements, but exceed them while truly considering the impact of their actions.

The intent of the program is to transform companies from being one of the main generators of environmental issues to becoming part of the solution. To achieve mass participation of the private sector and legitimacy, Manfred implements his program through a business association that grants him access to over 100 leading companies in Costa Rica.

The environmental program developed by Manfred is the only Central American model that allows any decision-maker of a company or organization to measure and understand their environmental impacts in a comprehensive and simple way. The program also gives the most effective company appropriate options to reduce and offset their impact. This program focuses not just on the measurement of greenhouse gases or isolated environmental effects, it measures all factors that might cause an environmental impact within the company or organization. The results of the program can then be effectively communicated to employees and decision-makers so as to implement comprehensive and participatory strategies to reduce and offset these effects.

Through this model, Manfred seeks to turn the private sector into an ally to reduce environmental impacts in Costa Rica and make the country a model for other countries that wish to achieve carbon neutrality.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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