The Promise And Potential Of The Long Run 4Cs

Can conservation work without community? Can communities thrive without conservation? Does culture exist in a vacuum? Can commerce and sustainability co-exist? Is a holistic balance possible? The answers to these questions are at the heart of The Long Run sustainability movement.

The Long Run is the world’s largest sustainable development initiative led by nature-based enterprises who are members of the organisation. Founded in 2009, it is global, touching all corners of the world, and growing. In 2016, it has a membership of over one hundred in 37 countries.


The Long Run’s aim is to maintain a healthy and productive planet for posterity by harnessing the potential of nature-based enterprise. Operating with a great sense of responsibility and care, members of The Long Run demonstrate that planet and profit can co-exist and even thrive together.


At the core of their practices is a sustainability framework called the 4Cs, which stands for Conservation, Community, Commerce and Culture.  The framework takes a holistic approach to biodiversity conservation, community well-being, the promotion and embracing of cultural diversity, and the carrying out of enterprise  in a way that does not harm the planet.


The 4C framework recognises the importance of business viability to secure biodiversity conservation and community well-being in the long term. It equally emphasises the importance of nature and supportive communities in sustaining nature-based businesses.


The Long Run connects and guides its members to achieve and exceed the highest standards of  sustainability practices through the 4Cs. Members are encouraged and supported to continuously expand their positive impacts on the biodiversity that surrounds them and on the communities they are part of.

4C positive impacts


Conservation:  The Long Run and its members address issues related to biodiversity and ecosystem services as well as management of energy, water, waste, land planning and carbon impact reduction, amongst others.


Community: The Long Run members recognise their responsibility, as pioneering nature-based businesses, in contributing to lifting communities out of poverty and empowering local people to drive their own sustainable development. They are doing this by providing fair and inspiring working  conditions, supporting social services development, education and local enterprises among others.


Culture: The Long Run members activities in this 4C strive to strengthen intercultural relationships and understanding, and safeguarding cultural heritage while raising awareness of cultural diversity. Members enrich each other through their uniqueness and diversity and contribute to a greater common good.


Commerce: Activities in this area address profitability to ensure a reasonable return for the owners to stay invested in the business and serve a source of reliable business and income for the dependent communities. Profitable operations also enable investing part of the revenues back in the other 4C initiatives


Examples of positive impacts in the 4Cs by members demonstrate the promise and potential of The Long Run. Members invested over $7,285,000 in the 4Cs during 2015 and managed 5,126,049 acres of land supporting over 52,798 biodiversity species – of which 9,684 are endangered or endemic. Collectively, members touched the lives of 657,776 people – 495,229 community members directly and 162,547 inhabitants indirectly and supported over 3,864 jobs.


More information about our members positive impacts can be found in The Long Run 2015 Annual Report and Annual Reports of previous years.

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