The 4Cs In Action: Investing in Entrepreneurs at Kasiiya

At The Long Run, we help members to embed sustainability into business operations via the 4C framework. The 4Cs were coined a decade ago when Jochen Zeitz, founder of Segera lodge in Kenya, was looking for a blueprint to protect ecosystems in perpetuity. Together with a global spread of likeminded lodges, they realised that a balance of Conservation, Community, Culture and Commerce is needed to ensure that protecting landscapes and wildlife has a genuinely positive impact on surrounding people and places, and is financially sustainable.


Today, the 4Cs is a guiding concept and the framework behind the rigorous Global Ecosphere Retreat standard (recognised by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council). The framework is reviewed, externally assessed, and adapted regularly to ensure that it represents the highest standards in sustainability.


In this new blog series, we celebrate The 4Cs In Action around the world. First up is Fellow Member Kasiiya’s new entrepreneur programme in Costa Rica’s Gulf of Papagayo.

Surrounded by 136-acres of jungle and wild coast on the far-flung Papagayo Peninsula, Kasiiya is one of Costa Rica’s most sustainable lodges. If Kasiiya was moved today, it would leave no trace. It’s been built around every tree, and to zero impact on the landscape. Its environmental footprint is minimal, too. The property runs on solar power, guests drink treated rainwater out of the tap, and there is no single-use plastic.


Papagayo’s landscape is shifting as the impact of climate change is felt across the region. Seasons are becoming more severe, and this is affecting the whole ecosystem. The lodge has a conservation plan to lessen the impacts of these climate challenges. This includes setting up trap cameras to monitor puma movements and creating new drainage systems. A turtle conservation project is also underway, to prevent poachers from getting to important nesting sites.


Kasiiya also aspires to create a healthy interdependence with the local community, and one of the best ways to do that is to support local entrepreneurs. Rather than ship in products not available locally, Kasiiya plans to invest in and kick-start local businesses.


The first success comes from Kasiiya’s carpenter, Doilin, who has been working for the lodge for three years. In 2020, Kasiiya agreed to help him establish a company called Eco Sociedad Anomina by financing the purchase of all the equipment, a small property, and commissioning 85% of the furniture for Kasiiya’s two new rooms. Doilin now owns 50% of the company, and within the next three years, he will go independent. During this time, Kasiiya will provide Doilin with all the skills he needs to run his business. As part of the agreement, Doilin will do some work for charitable initiatives in the surrounding villages at cost, and take on local apprentices when the time is right.


We love these images of Doilin building Kasiiya’s furniture from his new business base: 

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