Looking back on 25 years of FSC

More than 25 years ago, the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio failed to produce an agreement to stop deforestation. In response, a committed group of businesses, environmentalists and community leaders banded together to create a revolutionary concept: a voluntary, market-based approach that would improve forestry practices worldwide. That meeting marked the birth of the Forest Stewardship Council. 25 years ago we pioneered certification for sustainable forestry, and we remain the most trusted sustainable forest management solution thanks to our committed and diverse stakeholders. 

25 years FSC

Highlights 1994 - 1999

25 years FSC


FSC is officially born. FSC AC is established as a legal entity in Mexico. The first certified product, a wooden spatula, becomes available in the UK.


1996 -1997

The first general assembly takes place. The first FSC National Standard is endorsed in Sweden. 

Principle 10 for plantations is ratified.



10 million hectares of forest certified to FSC standards.
First FSC-certified and labeled non-timber product produced (Chicle gum, Mexico).
First complete book printed on FSC-certified paper: “A Living Wage” by Lawrence B. Glickman.
Tenth certification body accredited.



Highlights 2000 - 2004

25 years FSC

2000 - 2002

FSC receives the City of Götheberg’s International Environmental Prize.
Policies developed on group certification of chain of custody, and sampling for multi-site organizations.
FSC Board of Directors endorses FSC social strategy.


Re-location of the FSC secretariat from Oaxaca, Mexico to Bonn, Germany.
40 Million hectares of certified forest
20,000 FSC-certified products on the market.



Standards for small or low-intensity managed forests (SLIMF) come into force after two years of development.
FSC wins prestigious ALCAN prize for the contribution it has made to improving forest management around the world.

Highlights 2005 - 2009

FSC 2005-2009


Accreditation Services International GmbH created to manage the FSC accreditation program.
More than 10 million hectares of tropical forest certified to FSC standards.



FSC Project Certification Standard approved. FSC complies with ISEAL Code of Good Practice.
FSC Controlled Wood standards come into force.



Global FSC Strategy approved by the FSC Board of Directors.
FSC Global Development created to strengthen FSC markets and trademarks.
More than 100 million hectares certified to FSC’s Principles and Criteria, distributed over 79 countries.


15,000th chain of custody certificate celebrated.
FSC celebrates the 1,000th Forest Management certificate in Portugal.
First meeting of European small forest holders network held in Bonn, Germany.

Highlights 2010 -2014

25 years FSC


Regional offices opened in Latin America and Asia Pacific.
Forest Certification for Ecosystem Services (ForCES) program launched.
FSC membership climbs to 800.
20,000th chain of custody certificate and 1,000th forest management certificate issued.



30 national offices, 7 national focal points and 5 national representatives.
FSC group certificates include almost a quarter of a million small and community producers.



Over 180 million hectares of forest worldwide are managed according to FSC standards.
27,000th chain of custody certificate issued.
Permanent Indigenous Peoples’ Committee established to give a formal voice to indigenous peoples in FSC’s principles.

Highlights 2015 -2019


25 years FSC


Launch of new global brand campaign: Forests For All Forever. 
The Global Strategic Plan 2015 - 2020 outlines the future direction of FSC at an international level and the challenges faced by the world’s forest stakeholders.

Annual Review 2015

FSC Marketing Toolkit



Global campaign to celebrate the work of its Olympic torchbearers, the #ForestChampions is launched and reaches more than 5 million people on social media.
Much of the timber used in the construction of venues for the 2016 Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games was FSC-certified. In addition, millions of FSC-certified products were used at the Games.
Indonesian trade unionist, Rulita Wijayaningdyah, was appointed Chairperson of the FSC International Board of Directors – the first Asian woman to hold this position.

Annual Review 2016

Millions of FSC-certified products at the Rio Olympics


The Vancouver Declaration is launched as a commitment made by organizations around the world to work towards meeting UN’s Sustainable Development Goals by sustainably sourcing forest products. 
ÁmaZ in Peru becomes the first restaurant in the world to achieve FSC certification
Pilot test for wood identification technologies is completed in North America with great success. 

Annual Report 2017

The Vancouver Declaration



The FSC Ecosystem Services Procedure FSC-PRO-30-006, an initiative to create incentives for the preservation of valuable ecosystem services in responsibly managed forests, is launched. This is a world-first in forest certification.
FSC International moves into new offices in Bonn.



FSC celebrates 25 years of sustainable forest management.
Over 199 000 000 hectares certified
Over 37 000 CoC certificates