MixedWood ConsultingUseful Resources & Links
References for Green Certification
Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)
Out of all the certification standards, FSC is arguably the most acclaimed and most recognizable. In 1993, the FSC was founded as a result of disagreement over how to stop deforestation. Administered globally through offices in Bonn, Germany, it also has national affiliates in many countries. Follow links below to their international, US, and CA sites.
FSC Standards and Technical Documents
Keeping up to date with FSC standards, policies, protocols, etc. can be daunting. They are all readily accessible, however, in the FSC Document Centre. All “normative” standards and guidance are managed centrally by FSC-IC.
FSC Certificate Database
Once a business is certified by FSC, anyone can search current certification by its unique license code in FSC’s public database.
We think the document retrieval can be frustrating to access in FSC’s newly designed Document Centre. If you have difficulty accessing their library to retrieve documents, we have attached direct links to the most commonly used standards below:
Chain of Custody Certification
Current version: FSC-STD-40-004 (V3-0)
This is the core standard for FSC CoC certification that specifies the requirements which apply to all CoCcertified and applicant organizations with respect to sourcing, processing, labeling, and sale of forest-based products as FSC certified.
Click here to download
Chain of Custody Certification of Multiple Sites
Current version: FSC-STD-40-003 (V2-1)
The objective of this document is to provide the conditions and requirements for the establishment and management of Chain of Custody certificates with multiple sites.
Requirements for Sourcing FSC Controlled Wood
Current version: FSC-STD-40-005 V3-1
This standard outlines the requirements for a due diligence system for FSC Chain of Custody certified organizations to avoid material from unacceptable sources.
Special note: The Requirements for Sourcing FSC Controlled Wood (FSC-STD-40-005) does not require disclosure of price or cost information to be shared among organizations seeking certification. The standard requires disclosure only as far as necessary to verify compliance with particular control measures, and pricing information is not included therein. FSC recommends that all pricing information be redacted from documentation that is shared to verify compliance.
Sourcing reclaimed material for use in FSC Product Groups of FSC Certified Projects
Current version: FSC-STD-40-007 (V2-0)
This standard stipulates the requirements that shall be followed by organizations certified according to FSC-STD-40-004 or FSC-STD-40-006 for purchasing, verifying and classifying reclaimed forest-based inputs (including materials such as bamboo and cork) for use in FSC Product Groups and FSC Certified Projects.
Requirements for use of the FSC trademarks by certificate holders
Current version: FSC-STD-50-001 V2-0
This standard is mandatory for all FSC certificate holders who are entitled to use the FSC trademarks and sets out how to use the FSC trademarks correctly. The standard covers use of the FSC trademarks on FSC certified products, use for promotion of FSC certified products, and for promotion of the company’s status as an FSC certificate holder. This standard forms the basis for evaluation and approval by FSC accredited certification bodies of all certificate holders’ FSC trademark use.
Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI)
The SFI program is probably the leading alternative to FSC – at least in North America. It is administered through offices in Ottawa and Washington DC. The SFI program has some unique, and frankly a bit odd, approaches to certification labels and claims. We recommend this helpful summary.
The Whole SFI Standard
Unlike FSC and PEFC, SFI is aggregated into a single, rather long, unified document.
SFI Certification Database
SFI maintains a comprehensive database to ensure easy access to relevant information about certificate holders, label use, and products.
Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC)
The PEFC program (spelled the European way) is the principal global alternative and competitor to FSC. It’s North American affiliate is the SFI program and is considered the certification system of choice for small forest owners.
References for Green Certification
Independent Information Sources
Dovetail Partners is one of the best places to go if you want detailed and (relatively) unbiased information about forest product certification, and other topics of environmental concern and interest.
Terrachoice is an environmental marketing and consulting firm that has been very prominent in helping to define “greenwashing” and promote accurate, supportable environmental claims in the business world. Their website provides access to some (in our opinion) required reading for anyone interested in green certification.
NEPCon is a site that offers a global focus from a European perspective, the NEPCon site provides a nice, concise summary of certification options and lots of good links to the broader marketplace. They are partnered with Rainforest Alliance (a certification service provider) so all of their “get certified” links lead to one source.
Two Sides provides a very well-organized and helpful site aimed at supporting the case for paper as an environmentally responsible product. Two Sides mission could be accused of being a bit “one-sided”, but they provide very comprehensive information sources and lots of helpful links.
The US Federal Trade Commission maintains a set of guidelines for Environmental Marketing Claims. Termed the Green Guides, this document remains definitive and indispensable for any company doing business in the United States.
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