Print responsibly,
use FSC certified paper.

Revision of the Controlled Wood System

The FSC Mix label was introduced in 2004 and allows, under controlled conditions, the mixing of FSC certified material with uncertified material in FSC labeled products.

As the result of stakeholder concerns into the so called FSC Controlled Wood system a comprehensive investigation was undertaken, the results of which were collated in the discussion paper FSC Evaluation of Controlled Wood (Discussion Draft), June 2011.

The investigation revealed the following key findings:

  • Lack of common understanding about the purpose and intent of Controlled Wood system
  • Lack of agreement around the Risk Assessment process, field verification in cases of 'unspecified risk' as well as issues around the qualification of Certification Body auditors, functioning of the CW database, documentation and consultation
  • Concerns around whether despite the phenomenal market growth for FSC products whether the FSC Mix label has led to market confusion
  • Concerns around when and how companies should transition out of FSC Mix products
  • Differing views around the impact of CW system on responsible forest management as a whole, where some stakeholders hold the view that allowing more products to be labeled as FSC has directly led to an increase in FSC certified forests and others supporting the view that Controlled Wood has not created adequate incentives for companies to move forest managers to FSC certification 

At the June 2011 General Assembly, the FSC Membership passed Policy Motion 51: Strengthening the Controlled Wood System. This included a decision to:

  • Phase-out company-developed Risk Assessments to be replaced by FSC-approved National Risk Assessments for making risk designations. The cut-off date for phasing out company Risk Assessments is 31 December 2014*
  • A review and revision of existing company-developed Risk Assessments, with appropriate action taken where needed
  • A revision of the Controlled Wood standard with a focus on the (Annex 3) process for sourcing wood from areas of “unspecified risk”

Due to the inter-linkages between the various Controlled Wood standards all relevant documents are under revision, including the procedure for National Risk Assessment development.

The core of the revision process is targeted for completion by July 2014.

Until the ongoing revision process has been completed, interim advice notes on issues relating to existing requirements have been introduced. These will be effective until the end of the formal revision of Controlled Wood system.

A chamber-balanced Technical Committee was established in November 2011 to provide strategic input to all aspects of this revision process. 

* The original phase-out date of company-developed Risk Assessments was 31 December 2012. On 24 September 2012, the FSC Board of Directors decided to extend the cut-off date for company Risk Assessments until 31 December 2014. 

Get Involved!

Now in high gear, the Controlled Wood revision process offers many opportunities for your participation – including two rounds of stakeholder consultation on the standard drafts.

Got Feedback?

Contact Joanna Nowakowska at j.nowakowska at fsc point org

Webinar recordings available!

To download webinar recordings related to consultation on revised Controlled Wood documents visit this website.