FSC and Esri strengthen partnership for innovation

FSC / Skirmantė Tumosaitė
Esri's renewed support, valued at 2.2 million, will speed up EUDR compliance through geospatial data and streamlined risk assessments.
Blossoming lime tree
FSC / Skirmantė Tumosaitė
July 9, 2024
Category : General news

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is pleased to announce its renewed partnership with Esri, the world geospatial company. This is the third year of a large-scale collaboration aimed at integrating cutting-edge technology to advance global sustainable forest management.

FSC has tapped into Esri’s in-kind support to bolster efforts to build out a comprehensive map of certified forests worldwide. In addition to increasing technological access for forest managers, it has enhanced monitoring of deforestation. “If you can’t map the forest, you can’t measure or track it,” says Scot McQueen, FSC’s Senior Technology Officer, who spearheaded the FSC-Esri partnership and recruited Esri to FSC’s Technology Consortium.

Building on past successes, this ongoing collaboration will support FSC’s solutions for forest managers as they prepare to comply with the European Union Regulation on Deforestation-free Products (EUDR), set to take effect later this year. EUDR mandates comprehensive reporting requirements for forest-based products entering the market from late December 2024, including the need for geospatial data, traceability, and risk assessments.

FSC certification has long stood for integrity and credibility, having pioneered the world’s first standardized risk assessments nearly a decade ago. FSC licence holders already have an advantage because integrity is built into the system.

Says McQueen, "Our standards and processes go a long way for companies looking to comply with EUDR, while Esri’s support allows us to take them even further. It’s a fast lane –for companies to comply with EUDR, and for FSC to evolve as a data-driven organization.”

Today, FSC is focused on enhancing and expanding its risk assessment tools to stay ahead of global sustainability trends and reduce the effort needed for companies to meet new regulatory requirements, such as EUDR. A direct line to the tech industry’s leaders and innovators, like Esri’s Practice Lead for Environment Mike Bialousz, keeps FSC at the forefront of technological advancements.

"FSC’s innovative risk assessment platform leverages Esri-backed, time-bound geospatial data on risks of origin,” explains Bialousz. “This tool allows users to not only view their risk assessments but to harness the data through geospatial analysis, providing further insights on risk factors.” These risk assessments will integrate with the broader tech-supported solution, FSC Aligned for EUDR, designed to streamline companies’ compliance journeys.

“The rapid implementation of EUDR was intentional – the legislators wanted to disrupt unsustainable supply chains,” says McQueen. Fortunately, FSC has been a pioneer advocating for this shift for 30 years, and the support from Esri and other partners has added to that head start.

By continuing to innovate and collaborate with technology leaders, FSC is poised to meet and exceed the evolving demands of global sustainability regulations, ensuring a socially, economically, and environmentally sound future for our forests and those who depend on them.

For more information on FSC’s solutions for EUDR compliance, please visit fsc.org/EUDR


About Esri

Esri is the global market leader in geographic information system (GIS) software, location intelligence, and mapping and is committed to using science and technology to build a sustainable world. To learn more, visit here.