Biosphere responds to the challenges of Horizon 2030

What to do, how to do it, how to measure it?

What is Biosphere?

Biosphere is an integral system of management, recognition and certification of a territory, destination, company, service or product, through accompaniment and advice on continuous improvement towards the "Horizon 2030" according to the sustainability objectives established by the United Nations and its valuation and election by citizens and tourists.

Biosphere 2021. Introducing all the new features of our system

More flexibility to recognise and certify your sustainable efforts!

The First Sustainability Certification System aligned with the 2030 Agenda

BIOSPHERE© certification is awarded by the Responsible Tourism Institute (RTI), an independent body created in 1995 with the aim of promoting sustainable development actions and programmes in tourism destinations and companies. The RTI was created with the support of UNESCO through a Memorandum of Understanding that has enabled the development of activities, projects and cooperation events between the two organisations. It is also a founding member of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) under the auspices of the United Nations Foundation.

A pioneer in the sector, Biosphere was the first sustainability certification system to incorporate social and cultural issues (1998), the first system able to recognise and value the sustainable efforts of a destination worldwide (2009) and the first to develop an online certification process (2015). Since 2017, Biosphere has been the first global sustainability certification system aligned with the 2030 Agenda, its 169 goals and 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Biosphere 2019. Creating and developing a culture of sustainability

At Biosphere we are aware of the reality of our world and how important it is that our actions are as respectful as possible, not only in the environmental sphere, but also in the socio-cultural sphere and in terms of governance and economy. This is why we have created and developed the culture of sustainability, Biosphere Sustainable Lifestyle, which paves the way for sustainability in all areas of action, involving all stakeholders in a sustainable lifestyle. This is what we call the Biosphere circle, an overall vision that generates synergies and virtuous circles of sustainability.

Download the SDSN Guide to Sustainable Tourism here

The international instrument of sustainable tourism

To fulfill its mission, the RTI recognizes, through the Biosphere brand, the contribution of the tourism sector to: 

  • The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations
  • The World Charter for Sustainable Tourism +20 (reformulation of the First Charter of Sustainable Tourism to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals)
  • The guidelines of the Paris Climate Summit (COP21)

The Biosphere standard is therefore the adaptation to tourism of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), through the analysis and indicators of the UNWTO, Global Compact, the EU indicators and the criteria of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC). 

The work of the RTI has been awarded numerous times since its creation, such as the European Environment Awards (2000), a special mention in the Green Wood Awards for Environmental Responsibility (2005) and the International Environmental Award (2006), issued by TUI AG, among others.

More than 35 million tourists visit destinations, stay in hotels and buy services whose sustainability efforts have been validated by Biosphere.

The Responsible Tourism Institute

Committed to sustainable tourism

The Responsible Tourism Institute (RTI) is an international organization that promotes, for more than 20 years, responsible tourism at the international level.

The RTI was born with the support of UNESCO through a Memorandum of Understanding that has allowed throughout the years the collaboration between both organizations and promotes sustainable tourism through the Biosphere brand. 

With the aim of helping the actors involved in the tourism sector to develop a new way of traveling and getting to know the planet, the RTI develops tourism activities and projects that are governed by the principles of sustainable development, actively collaborating with various business associations of the sector, governmental and non-governmental organizations, in developed and developing countries.

More about Biosphere


Expand your knowledge in tourism. Take our sustainable tourism courses with professional tutors assigned personally and receive all the tools, material and information necessary to become an expert in the sector.


As a fundamental part of the necessary transition towards sustainable tourism, the Responsible Tourism Institute has developed different meetings and conferences of local and international scope.

See events  


Those who join the sustainable commitment create Biosphere experiences in the Destinations, promoting the exchange of good practices and contributing to achieving continuous improvement.

Go to Biosphere Experience