Our History

From Roots to Forest Canopy

Call to Action

After the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio failed to produce an agreement to stop deforestation, a committed group of environmentalists, businesses, and community leaders joined to create a revolutionary market-based approach to improve forestry practices worldwide.  

Sunrise over green forest
FSC / Julián Manrique
Trees in Forest during Autumn

The Founding of FSC

That was the seed of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), founded in 1993 as a voluntary certification for sustainable forestry, promoting environmentally sound, socially beneficial, and economically viable management of the world’s forests. 


Nowadays, FSC has the most extensive certified supply chain network, enabling connections between markets and sustainable forestry – including over 200 million hectares of forest managed according to FSC standards. 


FSC’s high standards and credibility have helped the system grow as solidly as an oak trunk. At the same time, new solutions continue to arise over the years to address incoming challenges, playing a crucial role in biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation while ensuring healthy and resilient forests for all, forever. 

Trees in Forest during Autumn
FSC Italy / Bruno Marić
Forest on face of mountain
FSC Spain
Green floral background
iStock.com / Rouzes

FSC’s Evolution Over the Years



  • The membership organization FSC Asociación Civil (AC) is established as a legal entity in Mexico.  
  • The first certified product, a wooden spatula, becomes available in the United Kingdom. 


  • The first General Assembly takes place.  
  • The first FSC National Standard (NFSS) is endorsed in Sweden.   


  • 10 million hectares of forest certified to FSC standards.  
  • First FSC-certified and labeled non-timber forest product (Chicle gum, Mexico).  
  • First book printed on FSC-certified paper.  


  • FSC receives the City of Götheberg’s International Environmental Prize. 
  • Policies developed on group certification of chain of custody (CoC), and sampling for multisite organizations.  
  • FSC Board of Directors endorses FSC social strategy.  
  • FSC is a founding member of ISEAL. 


  • Re-location of the FSC secretariat from Oaxaca, Mexico, to Bonn, Germany.  
  • 40 million hectares of certified forest.
  • 20,000 FSC-certified products on the market. 


  • Standards for small or low-intensity managed forests (SLIMF) come into effect. 
  • FSC wins prestigious ALCAN prize for the contribution it has made to improving forest management around the world. 



  • Accreditation Services International GmbH (ASI) created to manage the FSC accreditation programme. 
  • More than 10 million hectares of tropical forest certified to FSC standards. 


  • FSC Project Certification Standard approved.  
  • FSC complies with ISEAL Code of Good Practice.  
  • FSC Controlled Wood (CW) standards come into force. 


  • FSC Global Development created to strengthen FSC markets and trademarks. 
  • More than 100 million hectares certified, distributed over 79 countries. 


  • 15,000th CoC certificate celebrated. 
  • FSC celebrates the 1,000th forest management (FM) certificate in Portugal. 




  • Regional offices opened in Latin America and Asia Pacific. 
  • Forest Certification for Ecosystem Services (ForCES) programme launched. 
  • FSC membership climbs to 800 members. 
  • 20,000th CoC certificate issued. 


  • 150 million hectares certified.  
  • FSC group certificates include almost a quarter of a million small and community producers. 


  • Over 180 million hectares of forest worldwide are managed according to FSC standards. 
  • Permanent Indigenous Peoples’ Committee (PIPC) established to give a formal voice to indigenous peoples in FSC’s principles. 



  • Much of the timber used in the construction of venues for the 2016 Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games was FSC-certified. In addition, millions of FSC-certified products were used at the Games. 
  • Indonesian trade unionist, Rulita Wijayaningdyah, was appointed Chairperson of the FSC International Board of Directors – the first Asian woman to hold this position. 


  • The Vancouver Declaration is launched as a commitment made by organizations around the world to work towards meeting UN’s Sustainable Development Goals by sustainably sourcing forest products.  
  • ÁmaZ in Peru becomes the first restaurant in the world to achieve FSC certification.  


  • The FSC Ecosystem Services Procedure, an initiative to create incentives for the preservation of valuable ecosystem services in responsibly managed forests, is launched.  


  • FSC celebrates 25 years of sustainable forest management. 


  • Launch of the FSC Indigenous Foundation to give a voice to Indigenous Peoples. 
  • The FSC Core Labour Requirements, based on the principles of the International Labour Organization core conventions, were embedded into the CoC standards. 
  • FSC joins Amazon’s Climate Pledge Friendly programme. 


  • Focus Forests initiative begins to co-create solutions for environments of special value. 
  • The world’s first FSC-certified tyre is launched by Pirelli and BMW. 
  • Over 200 million FSC-certified areas. 
  • More than 50,000 CoC certificates.
Forest Background

Become a forest steward

We all have a role to play in protecting the future of our forests. Learn how you can join the FSC
ecosystem and start making a difference today.