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How Many Types of FSC Certification

In today's world, consumers are increasingly demanding products made with sustainable practices. This is where the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) comes in, offering a globally recognized certification system for responsible forestry. But with different types of FSC certifications, confusion can arise. How many types are there, and which one applies to your needs?.  

The different types of certificates relate to different stages of production and subsequent progress of forest products through the value chain. Verification against all FSC requirements ensures that materials and products with the FSC label are from responsibly managed forests. 

Types of FSC Certification 

There are 2 types of FSC Certification

1. Forest Management (FM) Certification:  

  • Definition: FSC Forest Management Certification confirms that the forest is being managed in a way that preserves biological diversity and benefits the lives of local people and workers, while ensuring it sustains economic viability. 

  • Object: Forest owners or groups of forest owners (group certificates) 

  • Objective: The standards cover a wide range of issues, including environmental protection, social responsibility, and economic viability. 

  • Standard: FSC-STD-30-010 

2. Chain of Custody (CoC) Certification:

  • Definition: Chain of Custody certification ensures that all branded products through the chain are from certified forests. It verifies the rigorous monitoring of traceability of FSC certified wood, from the certified forest to the finished product. This certificate is designed for companies that manufacture, process or trade forest products (timber products or non timber forest products) and want to show their customers that they use raw materials produced in a responsible manner. This certificate enables companies to strengthen their procurement policy while satisfying demand (public or private) according to FSC criteria. 

  • Object: Processors and traders. 

  • Objective: To demonstrate that they have traced the wood or other forest 

Standard: FSC-STD-40-004 V3-0 


2.1. Controlled Wood:

  • Definition: 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. The controlled wood requirements identify six categories of unacceptable sources for wood, which is not allowed to be mixed with FSC-certified material.

  • Objective: Designed to allow organizations to avoid the categories of wood considered unacceptable.

  • Standard: FSC-STD-40-005 V3-1

The 6 FSC controlled wood categories of unacceptable sources (referred to as controlled wood categories) are:

The 6 FSC controlled wood categories of unacceptable sources

  • Forest-based timber that has completed a rigorous risk assessment procedure under FSC’s Controlled Wood criteria

  • Has been judged to have a low risk of not satisfying 5 of the most fundamental FSC principles.

  • Illegally harvested wood

  • Wood harvested in violation of traditional and human rights (i.e. forced or child labour)

  • Wood harvested in forests in which management activities threaten high conservation values

  • Wood harvested in forests being converted to plantations or non-forest use

In the growing demand for sustainability, retailers are under increasing pressure from eco-conscious customers to source responsibly. Many struggle to find suppliers with sustainable certifications, such as FSC certification, that can align with both their company's sustainability goals and product specifications. Recognizing these challenges, Rockhill Asia provides customers with sustainable-certified network of suppliers in Vietnam, including those with FSC certification. This ensures that they can source responsibly without compromising on quality while still fulfilling their specific product requirements.

🌳 Source responsibly, Grow sustainably: Find your sustainable supplier & material match across Vietnam 🇻🇳


Contact us if you wish to know more about sustainable sourcing and what we offer sustainable solutions beyonds compliance.

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