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Every FSC label stands for sustainable sourcing that puts forests and people first.
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FSC has joined 100+ NGOs supporting the #Together4Forests movement.
The FSC Ecosystem Services Procedure has helped Maderacre verify its positive impacts on biodiversity and carbon.
Companies committed to sustainable forest management in the Congo are doing their part to advance the life of Indigenous Peoples, like the Baaka, with dignity.
Chain of custody certification is how the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) verifies that forest-based materials produced according to our rigorous standards are credibly used along the product’s path from the forest to becoming finished goods.
The FSC label on a finished product signals that the materials used during production have met the chain of custody requirements at every step in the supply chain, from sourcing to distribution.
Chain of custody certification enables your organization to display the globally recognized FSC label on finished products and use FSC trademarks in your promotional materials. The FSC logo sends a strong message to the marketplace that you’re committed to protecting the health and resilience of forests worldwide.
Certification opens the door to business opportunities that are only available to chain- of custody- certified- organizations. You are also eligible to use the FSC logo and trademarks to communicate your commitment to forest-friendly sourcing.
To qualify for chain of custody certification your organization must implement a management system that ensures the following.
You must also meet FSC’s core labour requirements, including:
FSC is the world’s most trusted forest certification organization.
The FSC system is a proven, impactful method to prevent deforestation, preserve biodiversity, and protect human rights.
We unite the most extensive certified supply chain network to increase market access.
Our logo is recognized by 56 per cent of consumers worldwide, according to GlobeScan Global Consumer Research.*
We have tools and resources to help support and bring your sustainability story to the world
We balance social, environmental, and economic interests to develop solutions that benefit all.
*GlobeScan Global Consumer Research, August 2021
To start the chain of custody certification process, contact your local FSC team. They can provide specific details for your region and help get you started.
The general process will include the following steps:
Only third-party, accredited certification bodies can conduct audits and certify your organization. You’ll have the opportunity to select an independent body to work with.
Your application will detail the steps your organization is taking to meet the FSC certification requirements. Your chosen certification body can help you understand which FSC requirements apply to you.
Your certification body will conduct an assessment to verify that you are following all appropriate standards and policies.
Submit the information FSC requests you to provide by filling up the questionnaire in FSC Check before signing the Trademark License Agreement to become a certificate holder.
Once you receive certification approval, you can begin producing and selling FSC-certified products.
Your certification body will conduct annual audits to assess conformance to your chain of custody certification.
FSC offices or representatives do not issue certificates. To obtain certification, interested applicants must contact an independent certification body. FSC offices and representatives can assist in obtaining contacts to certification bodies operating in a specific country.
Our group certification programme makes it easier and more affordable for smaller companies to earn a chain of custody certification. Specific criteria for group certification vary by market but, in general, companies with fewer than 25 employees and less than US$1 million in annual turnover may be eligible.
Learn more by contacting your local FSC team.
Your local FSC team is here to guide you through the certification process.
Chain of custody certification is designed for companies that produce and distribute forest-based products.
This includes organizations that do the following.
Label finished goods as FSC certified.
Sell FSC-certified products with FSC claims on sales documents.
Produce semi-finished products using FSC-certified materials (by manufacturing them, by mixing or adding forest materials to them, or by repackaging or relabeling them).
Promote finished FSC-certified products (except finished and labeled products).
Most retailers that don’t manufacture finished goods do not need chain of custody certification. A promotional licence is a better fit for these organizations.
However, if you sell FSC-certified building products that your customers will report to green building programmes, you will need chain of custody certification. Contact your local FSC team for more information.
Cost and duration of the certification process can vary from case to case. For more information get in touch with your local FSC team.
FSC does not conduct auditing because it would be a conflict of interest if we evaluated compliance to our own standards. Independent certification bodies ensure that the FSC standards are applied fairly and consistently to all organizations. They bring equity to the certification process and reduce the risk of standards being compromised to favor a single company, industry, or group.
We offer a variety of certification and licence programmes to ensure that businesses of all sizes and needs can become a force for our forests.
The complete set of requirements for chain of custody certification can be found in the FSC Chain of Custody Certification Standard.