What is the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Certification?

March 23rd, 2015

The most difficult to obtain credible forest certification is the FSC Certification.


Today’s blog has been written by Ryan Melowic Senior Director of Procurement Process Improvement at SafeSourcing.

Over the past two decades, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)  has received the status as the most difficult to obtain credible forest certification. Therefore, there are significant benefits to selecting FSC-certified products.

FSC is an independent, member-led group. Members elect the board of directors and vote on major decisions. Anyone committed to responsible forest management can apply for a FSC certification.

FSC’s forest management standards protect water to insure its quality, outlaw the harvest of rare old-growth forests, and prevent loss of natural forest cover.  In addition, FSC prohibits the use of atrazine which is legal in the US, but forbidden in Europe because it has been attributed to cause water pollution and birth defects. There are other forest certifications that allow the use of atrazine and even aerial spraying of the chemical.

FSC requires the results of certification audits get released to the public, even on private lands, which makes FSC distinctive among all other forest certifications.  FSC even requires forest managers to engage local community members to protect the rights of the indigenous people to ensure their voices are part of the certification process. 

Numerous companies have adopted policies that state a preference for FSC-certified products.  US Green Building Council’s (USGBCLEED program provides incentives for using FSC- certified materials. Consumers are also requesting that FSC-certified products are carried in retail stores across the country. In addition, many governments require the use of FSC-certified products. Companies that produce FSC-certified products achieve access to these markets as well as many others.

SafeSourcing does the due diligence to ensure its supplier database is packed full of quality suppliers.  The FSC certification is an example of one of the many certifications that SafeSourcing tracks.  For more information on how SafeSourcing can help you with insuring certified suppliers, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service representative.

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