About FSC (Forest Stewardship Council)
FSC® (Forest Stewardship Council®) is an independent, non-governmental and non-profit organization founded in 1993 to promote responsible forest management in forests around the world.
By purchasing certified timber products, it is guaranteed that the timber used in the product comes from responsibly managed forests based on social, economic and environmental criteria.
The organization is globally present in over 120 countries and provides services through the FSC International Centre located in Bonn, Germany, as well as through an international network of National Offices.
The main attributions of FSC:
- drafting standards;
- the accreditation of certification bodies through its independent Accreditation Services International (ASI) division and FSC National Initiatives;
- labelling of timber products.
Types of certifications:
1. Forest management certification
Forest management certification is the process of assessing how a forest area is managed in relation to a standard by an independent and accredited certification body.
The FSC® Principles and Criteria were first published in November 1994 and completed in 1996, 1999 and 2001.
The final version of the standard FSC® Principles & Criteria (FSC-STD-01-001 V 5-2) was published in June 2015.
The FSC Principles and Criteria Standard is the key document in forest management certification of any forest manager who wants to hold an FSC certificate.
FSC® Principles and Criteria for Forest Management Standard generally describe the elements and rules of proper management from an ecological point of view that brings social benefits and is economically viable. Compliance with these principles is the condition for obtaining the FSC certificate.
Based on these, national certification standards have been developed which details the principles and general criteria of forest management, through the development of specific indicators and verifiers.
For an application as close as possible to the specifics of our country, it was necessary to adapt the Indicators of this Standard so as to effectively and efficiently reflect the national legislation, the technical norms and the social, economic and environmental conditions of our country in a participatory process by properly involving relevant stakeholders. The FSC National Forest Management Standard was developed by a National Work Group accredited by FSC International in 2014. This National Standard and the entire process can be accessed at www.standardnational.ro
2. Chain of custody certification
Forest management certification is continued through the so-called “chain of custody” certification that seeks to develop tracking mechanisms for timber or non-timber products from certified forests from source to consumer (final buyer). By doing so, it is intended that the entire certified timber route starting from the forest and passing through transport, primary and secondary processing, sale and delivery, can be identified and documented to prove its origin at any time.
Chain of custody certification is a must for companies that harvest, process or sell certified timber and want to label these products with the FSC name or label. As with forest management certification, the company is audited against a standard called the Chain of Custody Standard (FSC-STD-40-004 V3-0) by an independent and accredited certification body.
Currently, certification is a market mechanism; there is demand and supply for FSC® certified wood and implicitly an increased interest in the production and marketing of certified products. Mainly, the decision to enter the certification process is generally related to gaining some advantages (for example: access to the certified timber market – Western Europe or North America respectively). In addition, buyers on these markets are increasingly informed and educated about the role of forests and the role of forest management certification.
Producers of certified raw materials and certified product manufacturers, in addition to accessing new markets, can get the following benefits:
Improvement of management systems, including planning, monitoring, evaluation and reporting mechanisms;
Recognition of the quality of the practiced management, according to an international standard;
Improving business and production management processes and business ethics;
Access to credits and investments;
Safety of the existing market as it becomes more and more difficult to achieve;
Companies can respond to the demand for controlled products;