How to receive the standard

What does it mean to hold the Biosphere Barcelona standard for Commitment to Sustainable Tourism?

Barcelona has held a Biosphere certificate since 2011, as an urban destination committed to sustainability. Thanks to this label, companies located in the Barcelona area can benefit from the Biosphere Barcelona standard for Commitment to Sustainable Tourism, the first step to receiving recognition for improvements in sustainability made by a tourism organisation or company, without having to be certified.

How can I start the process to join?

First, please enter your personal and company details on this form. Once received, we will contact you and send you the documentation to fill in to start the procedure to join us.

What is the external review?

Every company that joins will be matched with a consultancy, which will offer individual and personalised advice throughout the process. During the review session, they will go over the sustainability requirements to be met by each company. At the end of the session, the consultancy will draft a report outlining any requirements that have not yet been met and any other applicable recommendations.

What is the Improvement Plan?

The Improvement Plan is a record of the requirements that each company must meet in order to ensure it still adheres to the standard. Further improvements should be added to the plan on an annual basis in order to ensure continuous improvement towards sustainability.

When does the process of adhering to the standard for Commitment to Sustainable Tourism come to an end?

The consultancy will check that each company has made the suggested improvements to adhere to the standard and will prepare the subsequent verification report to be presented to the Sustainable Tourism Committee. The final step involves verification from the Institute of Responsible Tourism using Biosphere Barcelona’s software. Companies that have passed the entire process will receive the Barcelona Biosphere logo showing their commitment to sustainability.

What is the Sustainable Tourism Committee and who are its members?

The process of applying for the Biosphere Barcelona standard for Commitment to Sustainable Tourism will be overseen by the Sustainable Tourism Committee, which is periodically convened by Barcelona City Council.

The Committee will supervise the logos awarded to companies and services, according to their compliance with the criteria for commitment.


What are the requirements to be awarded the Biosphere Barcelona standard for Commitment to Sustainable Tourism?

When being formally awarded the standard, the company will sign this declaration of responsibility.
Requirements vary according to the type of company and tourist profile of each organisation. On the one hand, there are mandatory requirements for obtaining the label. On the other hand, there are recommended requirements that are not necessary to obtain the label, although they are advisable for improving how sustainability is managed in each organisation or company.
These are the key points that form the foundations of the different requirements:

  • Economic development and social inclusion
  • Work with decent conditions and gender equality
  • Efficient use of resources, environmental protection and climate change
  • Culture, diversity and heritage
  • Communication and responsible marketing

How do I know if my organisation is ready to apply for the standard for Commitment to Sustainable Tourism?

Being awarded the standard for Commitment to Sustainable Tourism should not be seen as an end in itself, but as a path towards sustainable tourism.
Therefore, provided that the mandatory requirements are met, what is sought is continuous improvement through the implementation of an annual action plan, conditioned by the type of company, resources and unique characteristics of each organisation.

When do I have to renew the standard?

The standard is renewed annually. That is to say, the companies must complete the stages and present the corresponding documentation within one year in order to keep holding the label. After that year, they will have to attend new training and review sessions in order to renew the standard as well as to comply with a new improvement plan with new actions to be carried out throughout the year. This procedure will repeat on an annual basis, so as to achieve the continuous improvement that is the goal of the process.


How much does it cost?

In the case of companies based in the city of Barcelona, the price of joining the Biosphere Barcelona standard for Commitment to Sustainable Tourism is subsidised by Barcelona City Council. In the case of companies located outside the city but that belong to Barcelona Turisme, the cost is included in their fee.