Visionary, creative, entrepreneurial, responsible: four qualities EARTH alumni Manfred Kopper Castro and Joaquín Víquez Arias (both from the class of 2007, Costa Rica) have clearly embodied. Both have been selected by El Financiero, the Costa Rican business and finance journal, as two of the 40 most influential professionals under 40 years old in the country. These talented young people are shaping the earth on which the future will be built.
As the environmental coordinator for the Business Association for Development, Manfred builds ecological bridges between companies’s needs and those of nature. His stance is clear: business should go hand in hand with sustainability, especially in an era in which climate change threatens to impact Central America with greater force.
In addition, he believes that the private and public sectors should collaborate more closely to ensure lasting positive change. Private organizations should take the initiative, and government agencies should help and encourage projects that promote environmental equilibrium.
Manfred works with a wide range of organizations and companies to develop programs in renewable energy, fossil fuel reduction and rainwater collection, among other actions.
Since he was an EARTH student, Joaquin has been passionate about producing energy from what most consider waste.
Four years ago, he founded his own company, Viogaz, which installs organic waste management equipment to help clients produce methane gas as an energy source. To date, he has installed some twenty waste and water treatment systems, producing energy for heating, pasteurization and coffee roasting.
Putting aside financial ambition, his mission is to promote long-lasting bio-digesters at an affordable price. In fact, he believes in the possibility of developing refining plants that produce and commercialize energy from methane as an alternative to fossil fuels.
In this way, he links ethics with technology, as a genuine leader of change in his country.
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