10 things you should know about FSC

Blog Post by Ellie Shaw 11 February 2015

FSC certification is being used increasingly by companies around the globe to show that their product has been made using wood from well managed forests. You’ve probably already come across FSC labelled products and you might even be thinking about making sure your own products are FSC certified. But what does that tree with a tick even mean, and how can you get one? 












To get you started, here are ten things you should know about FSC:

1. FSC stands for Forest Stewardship Council, which is an international organisation dedicated to promoting environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable management of the world’s forests.

2. FSC UK sets forest management standards for the UK and is independent of FSC international.

3. There are two parts to the FSC system. The first is Forest Management certification, which ensures a high standard of forest management and the second is Chain of Custody certification, which traces the wood from the forests through processing and distribution.

4. To be labelled with the FSC green tree with a tick, a product must meet all the requirements of the Chain of Custody Standard FSC-STD-40-004 which ensures that FSC wood is accounted for in the supply chain and that it’s not mixed with wood that comes from undesirable sources.

5. To gain Chain of Custody certification, you must be externally audited by a Certification Body.

6. A requirement of the certification is that you must have a Chain of Custody Quality Management System which details responsibilities, training, records, and has documented procedures.

7. FSC certificates are valid for five years, but you’ll need to have annual surveillance audits conducted by a certification body.

8. Small businesses can become jointly certified under a small business group scheme.

9. Chain of Custody certification is important for anyone whose customers want to advertise products as FSC certified, or say that they use FSC certified products. Therefore Chain of Custody certification can be important for businesses including manufacturers, wholesalers, builders, contractors, publishers and printers.

10. Having a Chain of Custody certification has a lot of benefits. These include public recognition, business reputation, meeting current and potential customer’s demands, being competitive and meeting your internal policy objectives for corporate social responsibility (CSR). 

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