The FSC certification is a forest resource management certificate that proves that the wood-derived parts of certified products come from sustainably managed forests, controlled sources and/or recycled materials.
Interesting notes about FSC certification
- FSC certification is mainly associated with paper, but it also covers wood, the sourcing of which is extremely complex and requires careful monitoring from forest to product;
- FSC certification refers to the chain of custody of products, i.e. a system that guarantees the traceability of materials from FSC-certified forests or, in the case of recycled material, from the collection site to the consumer;
- An FSC certificate is valid for 5 years during which the certification body conducts periodic checks to ensure compliance with FSC standards.
The FSC certification was created by the Forest Stewardship Council, an international non-profit NGO committed to ensuring and promoting the sustainable management of forest resources. With this certification, the Forest Stewardship Council is committed to ensuring that there is no net loss of forests over time, that forests with irreplaceable values, such as old-growth forests, are preserved, that forests that are crucial to combating climate change are maintained and that biodiversity is protected. On the social front, great care is taken to ensure that all workers are properly trained and equipped and receive a fair wage, and that local communities living around the forests are consulted so that their legal and cultural rights are respected. To sell a product as FSC-certified, a company operating in the wood and wood derivatives sector must obtain FSC Chain of Custody certification. The company must prepare the documents and procedures required by the Chain of Custody standards, including each stage of processing, transformation, production and distribution where the transition from one stage of the supply chain to the next involves a change in product ownership. The certifying body verifies that each step meets the FSC requirements and if successful awards an FSC certificate valid for 5 years. There are three types of FSC labels: ‘FSC 100%’ for which all materials used come from responsibly managed and FSC-certified forests; ‘FSC Recycled’ for which the product is made from 100 per cent recycled materials; and ‘FSC Mix’ for which the product is made from a mix of materials from FSC-certified forests, recycled materials and/or FSC controlled wood. Controlled wood does not come from FSC-certified forests, but reduces the risk of the material coming from unacceptable sources.