FSC introduces an updated Policy for Association

FSC / Milan Reška
Sunlight rays through the tree trunks of a forest
FSC / Milan Reška
October 4, 2022
Category : Standards

FSC is pleased to introduce the updated Policy for Association, version 3 (V3), which has been approved by the FSC International Board of Directors. It will become effective from 1 January 2023.  

The changes introduced in the FSC system through the updated Policy for Association V3 will lead to a larger range of organizations being included within the ambit of corporate groups associated with FSC. This will enable FSC to protect its reputation better and result in early detection of organizations that are not committed to FSC’s values.   

FSC is introducing the following changes through the Policy for Association V3:  

  • The scope of unacceptable activities, which focuses on forestry operations in the previous version (V2), has been widened to include forest product sectors. 
  • A corporate group will now be defined as the totality of entities to which an associated organization is connected by “control”. The definition of control includes but is not limited to ownership. The concept of control adopted by FSC is aligned with the Accountability Framework Initiative’s (AFi) definition
  • The unacceptable activity of conversion of natural forests has been aligned with FSC’s approach on addressing forest conversion.
  • New information disclosure requirements and a screening process will be introduced through the Procedure for Disclosure for new organizations joining FSC, which will become effective in the latter part of 2023.

Starting from 1 January 2023, FSC will use the Policy for Association V3 to determine if an organization or a member of its corporate group has engaged in an unacceptable activity after the effective date. For unacceptable activities that occur prior to 1 January 2023, FSC will use the Policy for Association V2 to assess the case. This will apply to organizations that are already associated, as well as to those that join the FSC system after the effective date.  

The Policy for Association is an expression of the values shared by individuals and organizations associated with FSC. It defines six destructive activities which are unacceptable to FSC. The list of unacceptable activities is available here. All associated individuals and organizations – and their corporate group – commit to avoid taking part in any unacceptable activity, in both certified and non-certified operations, by signing a contractual agreement when entering the FSC system.  

Violation of the Policy for Association may lead to the termination of all contractual agreements between the corporate group and FSC – a process known as disassociation. For more information about the how FSC processes Policy for Association violation cases and the consequences of disassociation, please click here.  

The Policy for Association V3 is available here.  

The Procedure for Disclosure is available here

For more details about the changes in the Policy for Association V3, please refer to this booklet and FAQs.  

To read about the revision process carried out by FSC, which has resulted in the Policy for Association V3, click here