Formed in 1993, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) came together to create a credible system for identifying responsibly-managed forests as acceptable sources of forest products. It is currently the only forest certification scheme endorsed by environmental groups such as WWF, Greenpeace and the Australian Conservation Foundation.
The FSC is an independent, non-government, non-profit organisation that can be found in 81 countries all over the globe, including Australia. Since its beginning the FSC has certified over 130 million hectares of forests in over 80 countries.
FSC in Australia
The FSC has had a presence in Australia since 2001 and has issued eight Australian Forest Management certificates covering 608,787 hectares of forest and 244 Chain of Custody certificates. The FSC in Australia is made up of people from various businesses and social and environmental organisations and is responsible for the development of national and regional standards for forest management.
How can I tell if the products I’m buying are FSC certified?
All timber and paper products, or any product derived from forests certified by the FSC are permitted to carry the FSC registered trademark. You can check if a certification is valid by searching on the FSC database.
Products that are FSC certified typically display the FSC logo on their packaging, so always check for it when you’re buying timber or paper products.
Are FSC certified products more expensive?
FSC certified products can be more expensive for consumers; however, the price difference is generally marginal.
Slightly higher prices for FSC products are mainly due to illegal loggers being able to undercut prices (by not paying taxes), thus creating unfair competition for products that originate from sustainable and well-managed forests.
How will buying FSC certified products make a difference?
The FSC ensures that certified forests adhere to their high standards, especially in regards to sustainability and management. Ways the FSC helps make a difference:
- Protects threatened plant and tree species at risk.
- Conserves biodiversity levels of forests.
- Improves working conditions for employees and promotes worker safety.
- The rights of communities are respected.
- The FSC logo on products enables consumers to buy confidently, knowing that they are are buying products from legal and well-managed sources.