The FSC certification – what’s it all about?
What does the FSC seal stand for? Why is it important? Who is the FSC anyway? Questions which you may already have asked yourself many times before and that we want to answer today.
Who is the FSC?
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an international organization that promotes environmentally friendly, socially responsible and economically sensible management of the world’s forests. Forests are to be safeguarded as an ecosystem, while ensuring long-term use of wood. The FSC is also committed to ensure that work in the forest is carried out safely and fairly. As a marketing tool, FSC certification intended to provide forest owners with an incentive. At the same time, companies in the forestry and timber industry should be enabled to credibly convey their ecological and social responsibility for the preservation of forests to the public and the consumers of wood products. At the same time, FSC-certified products allow consumers to express their ecological and social responsibility when making a purchase decision.
The two models of the FSC certification
The FSC certification provides two different certification models. First one is the model of the “forest certificates”. As the name implies, these are made out to forest owners and secure that forests fulfill the FSC standards in social and ecological terms. It is about preserving the forest with all its tree-, plant- and animal species. To achieve this goal, clear cutting and the use of chemicals are not allowed. Beside the ecological aspects, social factors such as workers’ rights and comprehensive accident protection are also considered.
The second certification model is called “product chain certificates”, which plays a major role for us as a digital printing company. Manufacturers and dealers of FSC-certified wood and paper receive these certificates. This is how we ensure that products with the FSC seal are actually taken out of forests that do have the appropriate forest certificate.
There is another difference between the FSC 100% and the FSC Mix Credit seals. The 100% label stands for products in which the wood comes exclusively from FSC-certified forests. The FSC Mix Label, on the other hand, denotes products that use materials from FSC-certified forests as well as from controlled sources.
What is not allowed according to the FSC certification?
What exactly is forbidden according to the FSC certification? We already have mentioned a few points. Now we are talking about what you and your company are committing to as soon as you have signed the FSC form.
With the signing, you first state that your company is connected to the FSC or one of its subsidiaries. This means that you are either a member of FSC yourself or have a contractual relationship with FSC.
The undersigned company further declares that it has read and understood the “Policy for Association of Organizations with FSC” as published at fsc.org.
In view of the considerations set out above, a company expressly agrees not to be involved in the following unacceptable activities in the present and in the future, as long as the relationship with FSC exists:
- Illegally harvested wood or the trade with illegal wood or wood products
- Violation of traditional or civil fundamental rights in forest management
- Destruction of highly protected forests in forest management
- Significant conversion of natural forest into plantations or into non-forest use
- Introduction of genetically modified trees to forestry.
- Violation of one of the ILO (International Labor Organization) core conventions as defined in the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, 1998.
(Source: FSC self-declaration form related to FSC-POL-01-004)
If this part is still not concrete enough for you, feel free to take a look at our FSC certification on our website.
Why the FSC certification is important to us
We believe in sustainability and want our customers to be aware of this. Environmental protection is very important to us and so we are aware of our responsibility towards the present and future generations.
To ensure that products having the FSC label are actually made from the corresponding raw materials, the FSC uses the tried and tested instrument of chain certification (Chain of Custody [COC]): Here, we only work with companies whose product chain – from the forest to the end customer – builds up an internal process that guarantees that FSC-certified materials remain identifiable at all times. With the FSC labels, we give consumers the opportunity to consciously choose products from responsible forestry. Our customers also support this concern and thus make an active contribution to environmental protection.
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