What is FSC wood?

FSC wood is the name given to wood certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, an international non-profit organization that aims to promote the responsible management of the planet’s forest resources from an environmental, social and economic point of view. For this, the FSC sets some standards and recommendations (contained in the FSC Principles and Criteria and in the FSC National Standards Development Groups) that companies must comply with in the manufacture of their products if they want to obtain the certificate.

Once the certificate has been obtained, the company is authorized to use the FSCĀ® registered trademark and distinctive seal on the labeling of its products. In this way, consumers can distinguish wood products and derivatives (paper, cardboard, etc.) from responsibly managed forests.

The three types of FSC certificates

The FSC issues three types of certificates that cover the entire chain from forests to the final consumer. These certificates are:

Forest Management certificate Chain of custody certificate Controlled Wood Certificate

Let’s look at each of them in more detail.

Forest Management Certificate

The FSC Forest Management certificate indicates that the management of the forests from which the wood is obtained complies with the provisions of the FSC Principles and Criteria. To obtain this certificate, the forest manager must hire the services of an accredited certifying company. For small producers and indigenous peoples, the FSC provides a simplified accreditation system that is much cheaper than accreditation by an outside company.

Forest Management certificates are issued for five years and are subject to annual review.

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Chain of Custody Certificate

This certificate verifies that products from Forest Management certified forests remain properly identified and not mixed with other non-certified products throughout the chain from leaving the forest to the final consumer, including the entire transformation, storage and transport process.

In some cases, certified products may be mixed with non-certified products, provided that it is done through controlled procedures and that a series of requirements set out in the FSC Chain of Custody standards are met.

Some eco-labels and certificates, such as the European Union Ecolabel for furniture, require FSC Chain of Custody certification or other certification that materials are sourced from environmentally responsible sources.

Controlled Wood Certificate

The Controlled Wood certificate is awarded when wood or other certified forest products are mixed with non-certified products as long as they do not come from unacceptable sources and are made in a controlled manner. Therefore, the requirements of this certificate cover both aspects of forest management and the chain of custody.

As unacceptable sources, the FSC establishes five categories:

Illegal harvested timber Timber felled in violation of human rights Timber harvested in areas of High Conservation Value Timber harvested from forests to be converted to non-forest logging, eg an agricultural plantation Timber from genetically modified trees

The Controlled Wood certificate allows manufacturers to work with certified materials whose supply may be volatile or scarce. The main objective of this certificate is to facilitate the adhesion of as many manufacturers as possible so that the growing demand for FSC wood also increases the dissemination and promotion of FSC principles.

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buy FSC wood

As consumers, we should look for the FSC logo on the labeling of wood or forest-derived products we buy. That way we will know that we are sourcing products that meet one of the most demanding standards today and that have been manufactured with the environmental, social and economic sustainability of logging in mind, not only on a global level, but also on a regional level through the National Development Groups. of FSC Standards.


FSC logo Wooden planks marked with the FSC label

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