Biosphere Certification Mark

Galloway and Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere Certification Mark Application

The Galloway and Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere Certification Mark is awarded to businesses demonstrating high standards in environmental and sustainable development benefits within the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere

The award is presented to businesses that:

Operate in a way that minimises thier impact on the environment

Look after the valued characteristics of the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere, promoting what’s special about it to others.

Work together with other businesses, using and promoting their products.

Shows their support to the local community

Certification Mark Benefits for Business

Here are just some of the benefits of achieving the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere Mark:

  • Official recognition of what you do for Galloway and Southern Ayrshire, its people and environment
  • Competitive advantage through association with the globally respected UNESCO brand for special places.
  • Use of the Certification Mark logo on your business marketing
  • Use of the Certification Mark logo on the labelling of goods you apply to be certified
  • Opportunities to establish and develop sustainable business practice as a point of difference
  • A means to demonstrate to customers and communities you are a business that cares.

The Certification Mark is registered with the UK Intellectual Property Office who have authorised an application process for businesses to follow.

The Application Process

To Apply you first have to be be a registered Biosphere Proud Supporter which can be done by clicking here

We then need you to answer the following questions;

1) Has your Business registered as a ‘Proud Supporter’ of the Biosphere ?
2) Is your business located in the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere?

3) Does your business fall within one of our key sectors which may apply to join the

Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere Certification Mark scheme?

·       Tourism/accommodation service providers

·       Activity/Adventure/Education/Cultural services

·       A business growing/rearing products in the Biosphere (edible/non-edible)

        A business producing goods from primary products both edible/non-edible from the Biosphere

·       Food and Drink producers

·       Art/crafts/photography

·       Food and Drink providers e.g eating establishments, restaurant, cafes, pubs

4) Does your business make every effort to support local employment?
5) Does your business use the services of and buy products from other local businesses in Galloway and Southern   Ayrshire Biosphere?
6) Does your business try to look after the local environment and practice energy saving measures?

If you can answer YES to ALL of the above questions you may proceed to the next stage to apply to use the GSA Certification Mark.

Please email who will arrange a suitable time to visit your business to explain more about the scheme and Stage 2.

If you answered NO to any of the questions and you want to discuss further please contact

Stage 2 Application

At next stage of the application process we will ask for more details about your business operations and the goods and services you are looking to certify. There will be guidance notes next to each question to help you through the process and you will be given support from the Biosphere Team to help with any queries.

Stage 3: Assessment

We may arrange a visit to your business to carry out the evaluation and gather any supporting evidence to help with the certification. Your application and the results of the initial assessment will be passed on for review by the independent certification mark award panel, comprising representatives from food and drink, recreation, rural development and environment.

Step 4: Award

If you are successful, your business will receive a Certificate of Award and a licence to use the Certification Mark from the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere Partnership Board.

Step 5: Monitoring and renewal

For monitoring purposes, your business may receive a visit at short notice or with no notice. Checks will be made to ensure you are using the Certification Mark logo correctly.

The Certification Mark award is valid for three years. At the end of three years, you will receive a visit to ensure your business continues to meet the Certification Mark criteria and continues to comply with the regulations governing the use of Certification Mark, and the award will be renewed.

(Regulations governing the Certification Mark can be found here)


There is currently no annual fee to take part in the Certification Mark scheme.

Initially only a limited number of application will be considered each year with the window for applications closing 30th September each year.