The Forest Stewardship Council – FSC – promotes environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically viable forest management all over the world. FSC's vision is that the world’s forests meet the social, ecological, and economic rights and needs of the present generations without compromising those of future generations.
The FSC issues three different types of certificates: Forest Management (FM), Chain of Custody (CoC) and Controlled Wood (CW).
FSC forest certification creates an incentive for forest owners and managers to follow best social and environmental practices whereas the growing demand for FSC certified products tells forest owners that businesses and consumers increasingly prefer products from well managed forests.
Forest Management certification is awarded to forest managers or owners whose management practices meet the requirements of the FSC Principles and Criteria. Forest Management certification of smallholders can also be done via a group. FSC group certification allows a group of forest owners to join together under a single FSC certificate organized by a group manager. In Finland, some certification groups exist already. You can find the list of organisations in Finland offering group certification here.
Chain of Custody certification applies to manufacturers, processors and traders of FSC certified forest products. It verifies and tracks FSC certified material and FSC products along the production chain all the way from the shop shelf to the forest.
Controlled Wood is designed to allow organizations to avoid the categories of wood considered unacceptable. FSC Controlled Wood can only be mixed with FSC certified wood in labelled FSC MIX products with a ratio of maximum 30 % CW and minimum 70 % FSC-certified.
Globally, 182.174 million hectares have been FSC-certified and there are 27.766 CoC certificates (figures from May 2014). Please refer to FSC Facts & figures for up-to-date information.
You can find full information in English about the international FSC organisation on its webpage. The head office of FSC International is in Bonn, Germany.