Thornybush unites in a global journey toward sustainability

a lady picking fresh fruit and vegetables on a fruit and vegetable farm

Thornybush Game Reserve has been accepted as a member of The Long Run, a trailblazing community of nature-based tourism businesses united in their commitment to driving holistic sustainability worldwide.

Thornybush has already taken substantial strides toward reinforcing its dedication to environmental conservation and community enrichment – and by joining The Long Run, the company can further its sustainability journey, aligning with other like-minded travel companies on a global level.

The Long Run is a global membership community of nature-based tourism businesses committed to driving holistic sustainability. Each member aspires to maintain a healthy and productive planet for posterity, collectively safeguarding over 23 million acres of biodiversity and positively impacting the lives of 750 000 individuals.

This alliance supports, connects and inspires nature-based businesses to reach new heights of sustainable excellence, underpinned by the proven 4C framework: Conservation, Community, Culture and Commerce.

A pinnacle achievement for all members of The Long Run is to gain recognition as a Global Ecosphere Retreat®. This prestigious standard, acknowledged by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, represents one of the most rigorous sustainability benchmarks in the tourism industry. It stands as a testament to an organisation’s holistic adherence to the 4Cs, exceptional nature conservation and a positive impact on local communities.

“Thornybush’s pursuit of this accolade is an ongoing journey and makes us accountable and reflects our unwavering commitment to driving change and improvement,” says Lindsay Hanekom, general manager of Thornybush Community. “Thornybush’s transformative strides toward sustainability are already evident through a range of initiatives already in motion in areas of conservation, renewable energy, waste management and the huge role we play in community initiatives, which have been part of the Thornybush DNA for a very long time.”

Thornybush has established comprehensive conservation programmes aimed at preserving the region’s natural resources. Initiatives include habitat restoration, endangered species protection, and safeguarding flora – demonstrating a harmonious co-existence between luxury and nature.

With a proactive shift toward renewable energy sources like solar power, Thornybush has significantly reduced its carbon emissions and environmental footprint, exemplifying the integration of innovation and eco-responsibility.

Thornybush is actively supporting local youth development by providing funding for bursaries aimed at internships in collaboration with the South African College of Tourism. This initiative involves enrolling recent matric graduates into a comprehensive programme designed to prepare them for careers in the hospitality and tourism industry.

A selection of successful graduates are then chosen to participate in in-house training within Thornybush’s lodges, while others find employment opportunities within nearby hospitality and tourism establishments. As the Thornybush Community continues to expand, so does the capacity of the organisation, enabling it to offer internship prospects to local talents and graduates who can address the skill shortage prevalent in the sector.

“Joining The Long Run amplifies our efforts to establish ourselves as a premier sustainable tourism destination, instilling a strong belief in our guests that our actions align with our words,” comments Andy Payne, CEO of Thornybush. “We are thrilled to be a part of this select membership, enabling us to gain insights from similar-minded entities and ensuring we are at the forefront of excellence.”

Thornybush’s partnership with The Long Run heralds a new chapter in sustainable tourism, underlining the organisation’s commitment to making a positive impact on the world, one eco-conscious step at a time.

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