Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)

FSC © Planet Ark

Planet Ark believes that the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) label is currently the strongest scheme available in Australia so choosing products with this label means people can have a high degree of confidence that the product they purchase has been responsibly sourced.

The FSC logo on products means people can identify and buy wood and paper products that have come from well managed forests; that have post consumer recycled fibre; and/or exclude any material from highly contentious sources such as illegal wood, wood from forests being converted to plantations or wood from areas where high conservation value forests are threatened.

By choosing wood and paper with the FSC logo, people will be supporting high standards of forest management in Australia and around the world.

About FSC

The FSC is an international network that promotes responsible management of the world's forests - it brings people together to find solutions to the problems created by poor forestry practices and rewards good forest management.

The FSC was established in 1993 to develop standards for responsible forest management - a credible global system to certify responsibly produced timber. The FSC operates a chain of custody certification system so that the source of timber can be traced back to its point of origin and its forest management certification is based on a set of global principles and criteria. Since its beginning more than 130 million hectares in more than 80 countries have been certified to FSC Forest Management standards. Globally, FSC-certified businesses sell several thousand products that carry the FSC trademark. The FSC is an independent, non-government and non-profit organisation in 46 countries including Australia.

FSC in Australia

The FSC has had a presence in Australia since 2001 and has issued eight Australian Forest Management certificates covering 608,787 hectares of forest and 244 Chain of Custody certificates. The FSC in Australia is made up of people from various businesses and social and environmental organisations and is responsible for the development of national and regional standards for forest management.

How can I tell if the products I'm buying are FSC certified?

All timber and paper products, or any product derived from forests certified by the FSC are permitted to carry the FSC registered trademark. You can check if a certification is valid by searching on the FSC database.

Products that are FSC certified typically display the FSC logo on their packaging, so always check for it when you're buying timber or paper products

Are FSC certified products more expensive?

FSC certified products can be more expensive for consumers; however, the price difference is generally marginal.

Slightly higher prices for FSC products are mainly due to illegal loggers being able to undercut prices (by not paying taxes), thus creating unfair competition for products that originate from sustainable and well-managed forests.

How will buying FSC certified products make a difference?

The FSC ensures that certified forests adhere to their high standards, especially in regards to sustainability and management. Ways the FSC helps make a difference:

  • Protects threatened plant and tree species at risk.
  • Conserves biodiversity levels of forests.
  • Improves working conditions for employees and promotes worker safety.
  • The rights of communities are respected.
  • The FSC logo on products enables consumers to buy confidently, knowing that they are are buying products from legal and well- managed sources.

For further information visit www.fscaustralia.org