Deep Dive: FSC Certified

Forests for all forever. That is the FSC´s motto. The Forest Stewardship Council, which is long for FSC, started its operations in 1993 with the purpose of creating a voluntary, market-based approach that would improve forest practices worldwide. They set a 10 point guide to establish their criteria (which can be found here) and since then have pleaded to commit it. Forests cover up 30% of the global land area and up to 70% of terrestrial animals and plants live in forests. Deforestation occurs at an approximate pace of 10 million hectares a year according to the UN Food And Agriculture Organization, thus making it an extremely important problem to address if we are to fight environmental collapse.

We have mapped FSC Certified to:

  • Reducing Waste
  • Protecting Ecosystems
  • Empowering Human Rights

FSC certifies:

  • Companies
  • Products
  • Suppliers & Manufacturers

Cost to get certified:

Companies with sales under $5 million per year may apply for Group Certification. Annual sales need to be less than $5 million in Forest Product Business (generally commercial printing, package printing, etc.). Total sales can exceed $5 million if there are divisions separately conducting mailing, website development/hosting, fulfillment, etc. Sales volumes will be subject to audit by program auditors. Group FSC certification fees are $1,695 per year inclusive of travel for auditors and group managers. For companies with $5 - $100 million per year in sales, the cost ranges from $4,175 to $5,055 for Single Certification.

Do they perform audits on the companies:

Yes, they perform annual audits.

Are their standards detailed on their website:

Yes, Forest Management certification standards can be found here.

Chain of Custody certification standards can be found here.

 

Controversies:

Ethically’s quick take:

We Strongly Disagree with the FSC since there are numerous scandals to which they are related. They’ve been linked not only to timber trafficking schemes and associations but to human rights violations and also to big corporation cover ups. This is the perfect example of what greenwashing means and it is why we so strongly disagree with their seal and practices.