Forest Stewardship Council®
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an international organization that brings people together to find solutions which promote responsible stewardship of the world’s forests.
- FSC is a stakeholder owned system for promoting responsible management of the world’s forests.
- Through consultative processes, it sets international standards for responsible forest management.
- It accredits independent third party organizations who can certify forest managers and forest product producers to FSC standards.
- Its trademark provides international recognition to organizations who support the growth of responsible forest management.
- Its product label allows consumers worldwide to recognize products that support the growth of responsible forest management worldwide.
- FSC undertakes marketing programs and information services that contributes to the mission of promoting responsible forestry worldwide.
- Over the past 13 years, over 90 million hectares in more than 82 countries have been certified according to FSC standards while several thousand products are produced using FSC-certified wood and carrying the FSC trademark. FSC operates through its network of National Initiatives in 43 countries.
FSC certification is carried out by FSC accredited certification bodies. FSC itself does not certify forest operations or manufacturers. This maintains FSC's independence between its standards and requirements, and operations seeking certification.
FSC provides monthly updates on the certificates issued by FSC accredited certification bodies. The latest lists are available in the Certificates Lists section in the Document Center.
There are two types of FSC certificates available from certification bodies:
Forest Management (FM) Certificate
Forest management certification involves an inspection of the forest management unit by an independent FSC-accredited certification body to check that the forest complies with the internationally-agreed FSC Principles of Responsible Forest Management.
If the forest complies with FSC standards, then the FSC accredited certification body issues a certificate for the operation. Certified forest operations can claim the forest products they produce come from a responsibly managed forest.
Before a certified forest operation can sell their products as FSC certified, they must also obtain chain of custody certification (FM/COC).
Chain of Custody (COC) Certificate
Chain of custody certification provides a guarantee about the production of FSC-certified products. Chain-of-custodý is the path taken by raw materials from the forest to the consumer, including all successive stages of processing, transformation, manufacturing and distribution.
From a customer perspective, the FSC label represents a promise that is being made to them. Chain of custody standards are the mechanism FSC has to ensure that 'promise' is delivered.
Operations that have been independently verified for FSC chain of custody certification are eligible to label their products with the FSC logo.