Forest Stewardship Council®

Wood is one of the few materials which can be described as truly sustainable. Some of our best loved and ecologically rich ancient woodlands have supplied timber for ships, houses and furniture for thousands of years.

More and more people are rightly concerned that the wood they are using might be contributing to the destruction of forests around the world. That is why the Soil Association helped set up the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC®) - an international non-profit organisation dedicated to the promotion of responsible forest management. 

What is the Forest Stewardship Council?

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) has developed a unique system of independent forest certification and product labelling, helping consumers identify timber and products from responsibly managed woodlands. The FSC is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organisation (NGO).

What is certification?

Forest certification is the process of inspecting forests to assess their management according to an agreed set of principles and criteria. These principles include recognition of indigenous peoples' rights, long term economic viability and protection of wildlife. A wide range of forests have already been certified from Swedish pine plantations to tropical rainforests in Brazil.

Who supports FSC?

The FSC system is backed by a range of environmental organisations. These include WWFGreenpeace, the National Trust and the Woodland Trust, as well as major companies, trade unions and other social groups. 

Will it really make a difference?

Yes, the FSC logo shows that timber comes from responsibly managed forests. More FSC products mean that more FSC certified forests are being managed for the long-term well being of people and the planet.

How does it work?

FSC has developed ten rules, or principles, that define good management. These principles can be applied to any forests around the world.

Principles for forest stewardship:

  • Compliance with laws and FSC principles
  • Rights and responsibilities relating to land tenure and use
  • Indigenous peoples’ rights
  • Community relations and workers' rights
  • Benefits from the forest
  • Environmental Impact
  • Management plan
  • Monitoring and assessment
  • Maintenance of high conservation value forests
  • Plantations (responsible management of)
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