Forest managers

FSC / Bablu Singh
A more sustainable future for our forests starts with you.
Two women standing in a forest with hardhats and chainsaws
FSC / Bablu Singh

Show your commitment to sustainable forestry

When you obtain your forest management certification through the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), you’re showing that your operations meet the world’s highest environmental, economic, and social standards. Each year, an estimated 400 million cubic metres of wood comes from FSC-certified forests. The rigorous standards behind FSC certification protect the plants, animals, and people that rely on those forests now and for years to come.

What can forest management certification do for you?

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Gain market access

You’ll have the opportunity to secure and expand your access to attractive markets and benefit from the growing global demand for sustainably sourced wood.

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Protect and strengthen your reputation

You’ll receive independent verification of your commitment to responsible forestry practices.

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Benefit from a global mark of trust

The FSC label is one of the world’s most trusted marks for sustainable forestry. It signals your commitment to sustainable forest management.

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Make a real difference

You’ll follow responsible forestry practices proven to help fight climate change and protect biodiversity.

All forests welcome

FSC certification isn’t just for large-scale forest operations. If you manage a small or community forest, or a forest with low-intensity harvesting, we have solutions to make it easier and more affordable to become FSC certified.

We’re here to benefit forests everywhere
Learn more →

What FSC certification means for forests

FSC forest management certification means committing to 10 principles to ensure your forest is managed in a way that’s:

  • economically viable
  • environmentally friendly
  • socially beneficial.

You also agree to follow FSC’s Policy for Association. This policy states any organization within your corporate group must refrain from unacceptable forestry practices that include illegal logging and human rights violations.

The FSC advantage

FSC sets the standard for responsible forest management. See what we can bring to your sustainability initiatives.
Lynx standing in a forest / Ondrej Prosicky
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FSC is the world’s most trusted forest certification system.

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FSC certification is a proven solution to prevent deforestation, preserve biodiversity, and protect human rights.

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We enable access to the most extensive certified forest supply chain network.

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Our logo is recognized by 56% of consumers worldwide. *

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We have tools and resources to help you bring your sustainability story to the world.

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We bring social, environmental, and economic interests to the table to develop solutions that benefit all.

Organizations worldwide are committed to responsible forestry

Cerna logo Cerna is an FSC international member and has been an FSC chain of custody and forest management certificate holder since 2012.
CMPC logo CMPC has been an FSC international member since 2014.
International Paper Logo International Paper is an FSC international member and has been an FSC chain of custody certificate holder since 2008.
MPINGO logo MPINGO Conservation & Development Initiative (MCDI) is an FSC chain of custody and forest management certificate holder since 2009. MCDI received the first FSC certification for a community-managed natural forest in Africa, enabling the supported communities to earn more than $315,000 in FSC-certified timber sales.
Pactiv Evergreen Logo Pactiv Evergreen Inc. has been a chain of custody certificate holder since 2017, supporting development of the Smallholder Access Program (SAP), a two-year FSC® pilot program designed to increase access to forest certification for woodland owners under 250 acres.

Forest management certification roadmap

To initiate the certification process, contact your local FSC team. They can provide specific details for your region and help get you started. 

The general process includes the following steps:


Choose an FSC-accredited certification body

Only third-party, accredited certification bodies can conduct audits and certify your organization. You will select an independent body to work with.  


Submit an application

Your application will detail the steps your organization is taking to meet the FSC-certification requirements outlined by your chosen certification body. 


Complete an assessment

Your certification body will conduct an assessment to verify you are following all appropriate standards and policies. 


Complete FSC Check

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.


Receive approval

Once you receive certification approval, you can begin producing and selling FSC-certified materials and products. 


Complete an annual audit

Your certification body will conduct annual audits to assess conformance to your forest management certification. 

Know and show the true value of your forest

Be recognized for your commitment to responsible forestry with FSC ecosystem services claims. This unique solution enables you to communicate the value of your forest in a way that’s scientifically quantified, reported, and verified. That information can then be used to match you with sponsors who share your vision and can offer long-term support for your sustainability goals.

Learn more

Ready to get certified?

Your local FSC team is here to guide you through the certification process. 

Find the FSC team in your country or region.
Get in touch →

Frequently asked questions

How long does it take to obtain a forest management certification? How much does it cost?

Cost and duration of the certificate process can vary depending on the size and location of your forest and the status of your existing forestry management practices. In terms of returns, a study from the WWF-US suggests forest managers can see a return on their investment after six years.

For more information, get in touch with your local FSC team.

Why do I need to go through an independent certification body to obtain a forest management certification?

Independent certification bodies ensure that the FSC standards are applied fairly and consistently to all organizations. 

How many certified forests are there? 

More than 1,800 forest management certificates have been issued worldwide, covering 230+ million hectares of certified forest. Of this, 8+ million are small and low-intensity managed forests and 2+ million are community-managed forests. 

Is FSC certification only for timber? 

No. FSC certification is available for a wide variety of forest products, including cork, bamboo, natural rubber, nuts and seeds, honey, mushrooms, and more. Find additional information about FSC certification for non-timber forest products here.

Does FSC offer additional solutions that bring extra value from forest management certification?

Yes. FSC’s ecosystem services claims solution turns the vital “ecosystem services” of your forest into value that’s scientifically quantified, reported, and verified. You can then present these verified claims to all your stakeholders to show the true worth of your responsible forestry and find partners who share your passion for protecting the planet.

How do I get forest management certification if FSC doesn’t have a presence in my country?

If an FSC forest management national standard exists for your country, certification is possible. If you are interested in forest management certification or would like to recommend FSC develops a standard in your country, please reach out to your local FSC team.

What does High Conservation Value (HCV) mean, and how much of my forest must remain untouched? Does HCV area count in the 10% set-aside area?

From endemic species to sacred sites, all natural habitats — especially forests — inherit conservation values. Those biological, ecological, social, or cultural values of outstanding significance are known as 'high conservation values,' or HCVs. Certificate holders are required to maintain and/or enhance the HCVs in the management units and they would qualify for the 10% allotment, providing the forest area meets the criteria for a conservation area network. 

*: GlobeScan Global Consumer Research, August 2021 - “Our logo is recognized by 56% of consumers worldwide.”