FSC – An important standard for the paper and wood industries. Here’s everything you should know about it!

FSC certification is a special certificate that companies from the packaging industry can also apply for. It confirms that specific responsible forestry standards have been met. What does “FSC Certified” mean in practice and how to become certified?

Growing consumer environmental awareness is becoming a fact. How surrounding products are sourced is becoming increasingly important to customers. 

People care about the products they buy coming from responsible sources involving proper forest management. Special certificates like the FSC certification are a confirmation of such standards being met. What is FSC Certification and what products can be certified?


What is FSC Certification?

FSC is an abbreviation for the Forest Stewardship Council. It refers to an international non-profit organisation. It focuses its activities on protecting and increasing the resilience of forests as well as ensuring their sustainable use. It is also involved in setting the standards for responsible forest management that factors in many aspects in the field of society, ecology, and the economy.


Such certification is an important assurance for customers that guarantees that goods with the FSC label have been sourced from certified sustainably managed forests. The scope of such certification mainly applies to the first stage of the production chain, which involves the sourcing of raw materials.

It is important to note that there are two main types of FSC certification. The first is Forest Management (FM). This is a forest management certification that is awarded to forest managers and forest plantations. The second type is the FSC Chain of Custody (CoC) certification. It is awarded to companies intending to sell goods labelled as “FSC Certified”.


What kind of labels can FSC certified products have?

There are also different types of FSC certification due to where the wood used in the production of the given product is sourced from. There are three different labels:

  • FSC 100% – is when the wood used to produce a given product is sourced 100% from certified sustainable forests that have been FSC certified;

  • FSC Recycled – means that all the wood or paper comprising a given product is from 100% recycled or reclaimed materials;

  • FSC Mixed – this symbol can be found on goods that have been made from wood sourced from a forest that has been FSC Certified, from recycled materials, or from so-called “controlled sources”.


Therefore, FSC certification on a label provides information as to what kind of product we are dealing with.


What products can be FSC certified?

Now that we know what it means to be “FSC Certified” and the different types of FSC certification, it’s time to discuss what companies can be awarded FSC certification? FSC Certification mostly applies to production companies in the wood and paper industries, which also include label printing.

Clearly, FSC Certification is intended for companies operating in the wood and paper sectors. Timber forest goods can receive FSC Certification. It also covers furniture, paper products, and label printing substrates.

Interestingly, FSC Certification can also be awarded to certain non-timber forest goods. An FSC label can, therefore, also be found on maple syrup packaging, Brazil nut packaging, or on rubber.

At the Unilogo Digital Printing House we also have substrates that have been FSC certified


How to become FSC Certified?

Several formalities have to be met to become FSC Certified. Consumers are showing increasing interest in leading an eco-friendly lifestyle and the sustainable sourcing of raw materials. They care about whether the products they buy carry ecological certification. What’s more, the FSC certifications obtained by them are a sign of their responsibility and care for the natural environment and for the planet as a whole.

How to become FSC Certified? The first step involves establishing cooperation with certified suppliers. Then, detailed procedures concerning certified raw materials must be developed and implemented so that they are fully compliant with FSC requirements. The next step is to train one’s staff in the scope of the implemented procedures. Finally, there is a certifying audit that must be successfully passed, which is carried out by an accredited certifying body.

FSC Certification is finally awarded if the outcome of all these steps is positive. 

Also read: Digital print substrates



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