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Eco packaging knowledge: What is FSC certification & Why use FSC-certified packaging

  • source:Angela Yin
  • Time:12/12/2023

With global warming and the continuous advancement of consumers' environmental protection concepts, reducing carbon emissions and vigorously developing a sustainable green and low-carbon economy have become a focus and consensus. Consumers are also increasingly paying attention to environmental protection when purchasing products daily.


Many brands have responded to the call by transforming their business models, showing close attention to supporting environmental causes, and using more recyclable materials. FSC forest certification is one of the important certification systems, which means that the forest-sourced raw materials used come from sustainably certified forests.


Since its official release in 1994, the FSC forest certification standard has become one of the most widely used forest certification systems in the world.




The types of FSC Certification


The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) offers different types of certification to ensure that companies and forest operations meet the highest environmental and social standards for responsible forest management. Here are the types of FSC certification:


Forest Management (FM) Certification:

This certification is awarded to forest managers or owners whose management practices meet the FSC's ten principles and criteria for responsible forest management. These principles cover a wide range of issues, including environmental impact, community relations, and workers' rights.

FM certification ensures that forests are managed in a way that preserves biological diversity, benefits the lives of local people, and sustains economic viability.


Chain of Custody (CoC) Certification:

CoC certification is designed for companies that manufacture, process, or trade forest products and want to demonstrate that their products come from responsibly managed forests.

This certification traces the path of products from forests through the supply chain, verifying that each step of the process is conducted in a responsible and traceable manner. It assures consumers that the final product has been sourced from sustainably managed forests.


Promotional Licence:

The FSC promotional license is intended for organizations that wish to promote FSC-certified products without actually taking ownership of them. For instance, educational institutions, NGOs, or even trade associations might want to promote the use of FSC-certified products.

This license allows organizations to use the FSC trademarks and logos for promotion and education, helping to increase awareness and demand for FSC-certified products.

The FSC also offers Project Certification, which can apply to a single project, such as a construction or civil engineering project, where the wood used is FSC-certified.


FSC certified products


Wooden product

Logs, wooden boards, charcoal, wood products, etc., such as furniture, household items, plywood, toys, wooden packaging, etc.


Paper products

Pulp, paper, cardboard, paper packaging, printed materials, etc.


Non-wood forest products

Cork products; straw, willow, rattan, and the like; bamboo and bamboo products; natural gums, resins, oils, and derivatives; forest foods, etc.


FSC certification process


The FSC certificate is valid for 5 years, but it must be audited by the certification body once a year to confirm whether you continue to comply with FSC certification requirements.


Submit certification application materials to FSC-accredited certification bodies

2. Sign the contract and pay

3. The certification body arranges auditors to conduct on-site audits

4. Issue FSC certificate after passing the audit


3 types of FSC certification mark


FSC 100%:

This label signifies that the wood within the product comes entirely from FSC-certified forests. These forests have been independently evaluated and certified for meeting the FSC's strict environmental, social, and economic standards.


FSC Mix:

Products with this label are made from a mixture of materials from FSC-certified forests, recycled materials, and/or controlled wood. Controlled wood is not FSC-certified but still meets certain standards set by the FSC that prevent the organization from associating with unacceptable forestry practices.


FSC Recycled:

This mark is used on products that are made from 100% recycled content, either post-consumer or pre-consumer reclaimed materials. The FSC Recycled label ensures that all the wood or paper in the product comes from reclaimed material.


FSC Certification


Why brands should use FSC-certified eco-packaging


FSC-certified forest management requires compliance with strict environmental, social, and economic standards to ensure the sustainable management and protection of forests, while also promoting the sustainable development of the global forestry industry. For enterprises, passing FSC certification or using FSC-certified product packaging can help enterprises improve their environmental image and competitiveness.


The Nielsen Global Sustainability Report states that brands with a clear commitment to sustainability saw their consumer product sales grow by more than 4%, while brands without a commitment saw sales grow by less than 1%. At the same time, 66% of consumers said they are willing to spend more on sustainable brands, and purchasing FSC-certified products is one of the ways consumers can participate in forest protection.


Some international brands and retailers, such as ZARA, H&M, L'Oréal, McDonald's, Apple, HUAWEI, IKEA, and other brands, have required their suppliers to use FSC-certified products and encourage suppliers to continue to move towards green and sustainable development.


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