The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an international non-profit organization that was established in 1993. They set standards for forest products along with certifying and labeling products as eco-friendly.
These standards are important for lumber importers and help sustain the global wood market. According to their website,
“The Forest Stewardship Council mission is to promote environmentally sound, socially beneficial and economically prosperous management of the world’s forests.
Our vision is that we can meet our current needs for forest products without compromising the health of the world’s forests for future generations.”
To accomplish this mission, the FSC has developed ten principles and 57 criteria that they apply to certified forests around the world.
For lumber importers and plywood distributors, using FSC certified sources helps ensure that the wood products being brought to America and sold in our wood market come from responsibly managed forests.
It can also show a commitment to sustainable, environmentally sound practices for companies operating in the United States.
There are two types of certifications from the FSC: Forest Management and Chain of Custody. Regardless of the certification type, independent FSC-accredited Certification Bodies verify that the FSC standards are met. When it comes to Forest Management, a forest manager can contact FSC directly or can contact a group manager to check their eligibility. For Chain of Custody certification, a company representative should contact FSC or a group manager to learn about joining.
There are many advantages to becoming FSC certified. With more than 20 years of experience, the FSC is a well-respected and renowned organization, and with their stamp on your products, you immediately have a level of credibility that other companies may lack.
This stamp also makes it easier for lumber importers to sell their goods because they have access to markets that they may not have had before.
Other benefits of becoming FSC certified include an outward commitment to protecting the environment and a higher level of community engagement. In fact, FSC requires forest managers on public and private lands to, “engage local community members and to protect customary rights of indigenous people, ensuring their voices are part of the certification process and impacts of forest operations are addressed*.”
The FSC was created to protect fragile ecosystems, respect native cultures, prevent illegal logging, and to monitor the chain of custody. FSC certification has become the gold standard for the wood industry, and lumber importers, distributors, and manufacturers can all benefit with the FSC stamp on their products. And for companies large or small, FSC certification is a way to show the world that you stand for sustainable logging and eco-friendly initiatives.