Just what is FSC approved?

Just what is FSC approved?

We see it printed on milk cartons and other paper-based products, but what exactly does FSC approved mean? Does this really make a difference?

FSC is short for The Forest Stewardship Council, an international non-profit organisation founded in 1993 to support environmentally appropriate management of the world’s forests. It’s made up of many representatives of various environmental and social groups, and the aim it to try and supply us with the wood and paper we need, without wholesale destruction of the forests in doing so. Anyone involved in forestry or forest products is free to join. FSC has a head office in Mexico, and an elected board made up of people from industry, conservation groups, scientists and indigenous people.

A certified FSC product is one where you get a credible guarantee that the product comes from a well managed forest. It’s more than just getting the mark on your products too. Forest inspections are carried out by a number of FSC accredited certification bodies, who are in turn accredited and monitored.

Certified forests are visited on a regular basis, to ensure they continue to comply with FSC principles and criteria. Products originating from forests certified by FSC-accredited certification bodies are eligible to carry the FSC-logo if the timber or forest products in question meet the right standards. This is a selling point, so they work hard to ensure that producers don’t get the label, or keep it, unless they deserve it. More and more consumers are becoming concerned about deforestation, so having such a logo on your product will certainly help sales.

Where you see claims such as ‘for every tree felled at least two are planted’, be wary. The Worldwide fund for Nature found that of a sample of 80 different environmental claims found on wood and paper products, only three could even be partially substantiated.

This is where the FSC comes in by providing an independent, international and credible labelling scheme on timber and timber products. Don’t be fooled by false claims, watch out for the logo and get the real thing, from people who genuinely want to produce without removing all of our trees.

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