The Root of the Matter
Thoughts from FSC’s Director General
Forests For All Forever: The new FSC brand story
Thursday, 30 April 2015
Director General Kim Carstensen introduces FSC’s new branding – a story that brings to life FSC values around the world…
Forests For All Forever. Our new strapline. Our continued mission. Our clear intention as an organisation.
For the first time ever, we’re giving stakeholders – from members to certificate holders – the tools to talk about us. Of course, they’ve been talking about us for years, but now they can do so in a way that is clear, consistent and actually demonstrates the values that FSC embodies.
Currently, people tend to say ‘We like FSC, because it’s a great thing”, but few have the tools to say more than that. Now, we want to shift the conversation to discuss the impact we have on the ground, day in, day out. So they can talk about why they like FSC; why they want to work with FSC; why they want to get certified.
At FSC, we mainly talk directly with the people who use our system. With this new set of brand materials, we’re giving those people an opportunity to speak with consumers. Whereas a lot of what we normally communicate is very technical, this gives us a focus on the values behind the technical specifications – on the why and not the what.
While the logo has always been a recognisable way for people to choose FSC-certified products, historically, it’s been very difficult to actually talk about FSC for promotion. It’s important to demonstrate more than just the seal of quality that the logo already is. Now, it will demonstrate the values that that seal brings with it.
From our careful, global research – from Europe and North America to Asia, Africa and Latin America – it turned out that those values are reasonably consistent around the world. This means it’s possible for us to tell one story anywhere in the world.
Along the way, we’ve had input from the people who are closest to our system – network partners, FSC users and certified companies around the world - to develop these materials. And I’m happy to say that we’re seeing consistently positive reactions from very, very different groups of stakeholders too. It’s a brand that everybody can use.
Alongside our new branding launch, we’re also in the middle of developing our strategic plan. It’s very much about getting better at what we do already; getting better at running the certification system. It’s also focused on reversing the trend of forest destruction, which means it fits completely with the new brand positioning.
You’ll also notice we’ve added animals and people to our strapline too. Why?
Because forests are about much more than just the timber value. Of course, that’s enormously important, but what we do in the forest is more than just taking the timber out. We do it in responsible ways that create benefits for people without threatening the survival of the animals and the plants in the forest. Most of the species that live on Earth live in forests, in particular in the tropical forests, so responsible forest management is hugely important for animals.
The whole purpose of being FSC-certified, and managing the forest in a responsible way, is that forests will be there for the benefit of the environment, for the benefit of social interest and for the benefit of the global and local economy, forever.
Put simply: that’s what FSC is about: ‘Forests for All, Forever.’
BACK TO OVERVIEW
Kim is the Director General of the Forest Stewardship Council, a position he has held since October 2012. He was selected to succeed Andre de Freitas with the unanimous support of the FSC Board of Directors, who recognised that Kim’s proven track record as a global leader within the environment and development sectors makes him extremely well-suited to consolidate FSC’s position as a global leader in responsible forest certification.
Copyright: Kim’s image (black/white) with thanks to Morten Holtum.