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.