Markets working to support sustainable development

Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC)

FSC Certified products are verified from the forest of origin through the supply chain. Products are from responsibly harvested and verified sources, and certification is designed to link sustainable production with concerned consumers.

Principles and Criteria (Version 5, 2012)

  • Compliance with laws and FSC Principles
  • Worker’s rights and Employee Conditions
  • Indigenous people’s rights
  • Community Relations
  • Benefits from the forest
  • Environmental values and impacts
  • Management planning
  • Monitoring and assessment
  • High conservation value
  • Implementation of management activities

FSC Certificate types

  • Production

Forest Management (FM) Certification: for Forest managers or owners who want to prove that their forest operations are socially beneficial and managed in an environmentally appropriate and economically viable manner.

  • Production and Manufacture

FSC Controlled Wood: Forest Management companies that comply with the five FSC Controlled Wood criteria will be able to supply FSC Controlled Wood to FSC Chain of Custody operations. This allows non-certified timber to be mixed with FSC certified timber.

  • Trade

FSC Chain of Custody (CoC) Certification: for companies that manufacture, process or trade in timber or non-timber forest products and want to demonstrate to their customers that they use responsibly produced raw materials. 

Market coverage: 

As of October 2013, there were 183,068,804 ha of land under FSC certification, representing 1225 certificates. This spans 80 countries. The vast majority of certified forest area is in North America (40.38%) and Europe (43.09%). There were more than 26,000 chain of custody certificates issued. Worldwide sales figures of FSC certified products are not currently available. 

Background information: 

First conceived in 1990 in California, multiple stakeholders (timber users, traders and representatives from environmental and human-rights organisations in California) convened to consider a system that could credibly identify responsibly managed forestry.

In the wake of the 1992 UN Rio Summit, the FSC was formalised and since then the organisation has spread globally into over 50 countries worldwide. The FSC has a multi-stakeholder governance structure with both North and South groups represented.

Funding source: 

34% from donations and 66% from certification fees.SSI Report (2010) shows figures for 2007 of €3,695,326 income.The 2012 Annual Report names donating partners as: WWF Germany, Sweden, International. Freshfield Foundation. Ikea Supply AG. Mondi. Potlatch Corporation. ICI paints. UNEP. Azko Nobel.