Forest Stewardship Council Certification is a voluntary way to guarantee that wood, paper and other forest products come from sustainably managed forests, the same way that organic food certification guarantees that fruits and vegetables are produced without pesticides and synthetic fertilizers.
Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Certification is the only forest certification system that currently enjoys broad support from the environmental community. The FSC is an international, non-governmental, non-profit organization whose goal is to support the environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable management of the worlds remaining forests. FSC Certification involves inspecting applicant forest management areas to determine whether they are being managed according to a pre-determined set of environmental and social standards.
The FSC was created in 1993, by an international gathering of forestry businesses, environmental groups and social justice organizations, in order to design a global framework of performance standards for responsible forest management. This framework is consistent with key attributes of a credible eco-certification standard. Regionally appropriate FSC standards are developed by local stakeholders and First Nations based on this FSC framework.
FSC in British Columbia
In 2005, the FSC-BC Regional Certification Standards received final endorsement from FSC international after a decade of collaborative efforts. These standards are the result of two extensive public consultation processes, expert reviews, technical writing, field testing and a consensus-based, decision-making process involving representatives of BC industry, environmental groups, First Nations and forest workers and local communities.
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“Buying FSC products is not only a smart business decision for Home Depot, but one that can help save the environment.”
— Annette Verschuren, President, Home Depot Canada
“The main raw material we use is paper. We believe that the sustainable use of renewable resources – like wood fibres – is of utmost importance in contributing to the mitigation of climate change. And we want to convey this message to consumers in the clearest possible way. Today, consumers believe FSC is the best proof of sustainable forestry. That’s why we prefer wood sources that are FSC certified.”
— Mario Abreu, Director, Forestry and Recycling, TetraPak International
“Lowe’s long-term goal is to ensure that all wood products sold in our stores originate from well-managed, non-endangered forests. In order to meet this goal, Lowe’s will: …give preference to the procurement of wood products from independently certified, well-managed forests. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is recognized as having the highest certification standards available today and will be given preference over other certification systems….”
—Lowe’s, Wood Product Policy