About the project
The Long Run Initiative (LRI) started in 2009 as a flagship initiative of Zeitz Foundation – an organisation with a mission to create and support sustainable, ecologically and socially responsible projects and destinations worldwide to achieve long-lasting impact and sustainability.
The LRI is based on the philosophy that centres around the premise of acting today for a better tomorrow. The LRI strives to support, connect and inspire nature-based businesses to excel in following the highest standards of sustainability based on the principles of 4Cs, which are Conservation, Community, Culture and Commerce. The LRI focuses on working with the Long Run Destinations (LRDs).
The Global Ecosphere Retreats® (GER®) recognition is a designated system for approving The Long Run destinations. GER recognition is designed to ensure that recognised Global Ecosphere Retreats represent the true models of best practices in sustainability, by taking into consideration the 4Cs.
This project seeks to transform existing GER principles, evaluation questions and tools into an auditable standard and related tool, which will provide a solid basis for an impartial, practical and auditable evaluation system that helps the Long Run Alliance Members credibly attain the status of GER recognised destination.
Read on to find out more about our role in this project.
1. Development of a revised GER standard which will be carried out in consultation with the LRI team. It includes:
- Development of a process and structure for a revised GER standard
- Development of the interpretative guidance of the standard criteria
- Integration of stakeholder consultation results in the revised draft standard process
- Test the revised GER standard in at least one (1) destination
- Further revision of the GER standard, process and interpretative guidance based on the field test
- Production of the final complete document of the GER standard
2. Development of auditing training tools and guidance materials for auditors
1. A comprehensive revised GER standard document (draft followed by a final, comprehensive and complete version of the revised standard document incorporating learning from the field test(s) and public consultations) that includes the following (non-exhaustive):
- An introduction explaining the standard development process and purpose of the document
- Scope of the standard
- Validity and glossary
- Roles and responsibilities of organisations involved (assurance system)
- Entry requirements and level of compliance
2. A document of the interpretative guidance of the standard criteria to provide a detailed explanation of the standard criteria and the philosophy behind it to guide auditors, LR Alliance Members and Destinations.
3. At least one field testing report to present the challenges encountered during the field testing and highlight necessary revisions to be integrated into the standard document
4. A revised self-help manual, self-evaluation checklist, E4C plan and annual report templates
5. An evaluation report template
6. An auditor’s handbook
7. Training materials and presentations to ensure standard training for auditors
8. A public description of the recognition process
Preferred by Nature (former NEPCon) also worked with Zeitz Foundation on this project – Improving Livelihoods and Fighting Climate Change in Kenya. Find out more here.