FSC Mix Label and Controlled Wood

Any business that holds an FSC certificate commits to the strictest standards currently governing responsible forest management to be able to sell products with an FSC label.
FSC label

Behind every FSC label is a product that supports responsible forestry. 

There are three different types of FSC labels:  

  1. FSC 100%:  all sourced materials of the labelled product come from FSC-certified forests;  
  2. FSC Recycled: the materials used for the products are 100 per cent recycled;  
  3. FSC Mix: the product is made with a mix of materials from FSC-certified forests, recycled sources and/or FSC controlled wood.  

To watch a video on what the FSC labels on a product mean, click here.   

On the FSC Mix label  

It is not always possible to manufacture a product using only materials from certified forests as the available supply of wood often does not meet demand.  

FSC therefore allows businesses to mix wood from FSC-certified forests or reclaimed materials with wood coming from forests that are not FSC certified but controlled. In many cases, mixing is the only feasible way to allow more companies to produce certified items and participate in the FSC system.   

FSC is working hard to increase the FSC-certified forests areas as well as the share of FSC 100% or FSC Recycled labelled products. As FSC-certified forest area and the supply of FSC materials increase, mixing will become less necessary. In the meantime, this practice allows the available FSC supply to accessmarkets — much of which wouldn’t otherwise — enabling the growth of well-managed forests around the world.

What is FSC Controlled wood?  

FSC controlled wood is material from acceptable sources (areas covered by the FSC system) that can be mixed with FSC-certified material in products that carry the FSC Mix label. It mitigates the risk of forest products originating from unacceptable sources:

  • Illegally harvested wood  
  • Wood harvested in violation of traditional and human rights (i.e. forced or child labour)  
  • Wood harvested in forests in which management activities threaten high conservation values   
  • Wood harvested in forests being converted to plantations or non-forest use  
  • Wood from forests in which genetically modified trees are planted.  

FSC controlled wood is a first step to improve forest management, as it imposes a first restriction on the supply of non-certified wood. The related guidelines FSC has developed to define controlled wood lower the risk to include materials from unacceptable sources into FSC Mix labelled products. This helps to address significant problems like illegal logging, human and traditional rights violation, and deforestation.   

To reduce the likelihood of sourcing material from unacceptable sources, organizations that use controlled wood must also use risk assessments.

FSC has developed risk assessments for 60 countries. They can be found in the FSC Document Centre, and summaries can be found on the FSC risk assessment platform.