Protect the world’s forests and safeguard your brand.

Brands and businesses across the world have never been more acutely aware of the impact of their commercial strategies and the transparency of global supply chains is set to grow, with consumers becoming more selective and seeking reassurance that goods and services do not make an adverse impact on vulnerable communities overseas, or on the natural world.

The climate change agenda has become more high profile in recent years with new targets being set and agreed as part of COP26 and the imperative to address the unfolding crisis caused by greenhouse gas emissions gathering pace. In the paper and print sector, this is reflected in the success of the Forest Stewardship Council’s (FSC) global accreditation scheme which brings together landowners, manufacturers, and NGOs as part of a commitment to protecting natural habitats around the world and supporting the communities on which the industry depends.

The importance of forests cannot be overestimated. Forests help to mitigate the effects of global warming through carbon sequestration. In fact, trees absorb around 25 per cent of the carbon emitted by human activities. Carefully managed forests confer additional benefits, helping local communities to sustain important industries with a robust chain of custody.

In this blog, we review the objectives and mission of the FSC, how engaging with FSC-certification can boost your brand and provide an update on the latest changes to the certification process and how PDS can help.

What is FSC accreditation?

The Forest Stewardship Council was originally set up in 1994 with a mission to ‘promote environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically viable management of the world’s forests.’ It now oversees over 230M certified hectares and has 1,165 members in 89 countries.

Through its work, the FSC scheme serves to:

  • protect indigenous communities and enable them to invest in healthcare and education

  • promote human rights and safe working practices

  • provide safe havens for birds, animals, and amphibians through improved biodiversity.

Participation in the scheme requires landowners and forest managers to be assessed for Forest Management certification, and for manufacturers and producers to qualify for Chain of Custody certification, according to high-level FSC principles. Assessments examine every aspect of organisations’ operations to ensure that they protect forests to safeguard the environment and the community, comply with local laws, respect workers’ rights, pay and conditions. The scheme is effective in preventing illegal logging, human rights violations, and deforestation.

To earn certification, organisations must demonstrate high conservation values and put in place planning, monitoring, and assessment processes according to robust objectives.


Why choose FSC-accredited materials?

Brands are increasingly required to show probity in their engagement with supply chains and to demonstrate that their commercial relationships not only avoid harming communities and the environment but bring additional benefits. In doing so, they can work towards meeting their corporate social responsibility (CSR) and environmental objectives, which helps to improve their profile and create trust.

In a survey by Deloitte, 28 per cent of consumers say that they have stopped buying some products as a result of environmental or ethical concerns. Amongst Gen Z, this inclination is more marked with 45 per cent avoiding particular brands for the same reasons. Consumers said that they look out for ways to reduce waste and minimise their carbon footprint and want to see evidence that brands use sustainable packaging, and that their products are manufactured according to ethical working practices that respect human rights. According to estimates by Ethical Consumer, the UK market for ethical products currently stands at £122BN.

Choosing FSC-accredited sources for your paper and packaging requirements sends a message to your clients and consumers that your brand takes these issues seriously and operates with an authenticity that they can respect.

FSC options provide your brand with:

  • A traceable supply chain

  • Protection for your reputation

  • A wider and growing market for your products.


FSC labelling in the mix for 2022

FSC certification can be applied to products made from wood and pulp, from paper and furniture to pencils and food packaging. FSC members whose operations and products have been assessed and certified are able to display one of the three FSC logos:

  • 100%: from well managed forests

  • Recycled: made from recycled material

  • MIX: supporting responsible forestry

A recent decision by a technical working group within FSC has led to the launch of a new labelling convention for MIX accreditation. The previous terminology (‘from responsible sources’) was deemed to be insufficiently transparent because it failed to acknowledge that controlled wood is not FSC certified. Controlled wood is permitted to be used with MIX-labelled materials because it supports progress towards full certification and enables more forest owners to get involved in the scheme. The overall mission of the FSC is to take producers on a journey towards improving their practices and eventually qualifying for full accreditation. By increasing involvement with the scheme throughout the supply chain, awareness of FSC will grow alongside the market for sustainable products.

The new MIX definition is now starting to appear on labels and producers have until 30 June 2024 to make the transition to this new branding to maintain compliance with FSC guidelines.

Let PDS help you to turn over a new leaf

We are accredited by the FSC and can provide access to sustainable sources of paper and packaging. You can rest assured that we have the knowledge and expertise to ensure that your items will be appropriately branded with the right FSC logo. We are currently working to make the transition to the new MIX option branding and are happy to answer any queries that you might have.


For more information, please complete our contact form, call 01933 672150 or email

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