FSC International – Forests for All Forever

Facts & Figures

199,966,517 ha certified
38,542 CoC certificates
1,638 FM/CoC certificates

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Providing credentials for entering sustainable markets

© FSC G.D. / Arturo Escobar

A lot can happen to a product between leaving the forest and arriving in the consumer’s hands. From processing to manufacturing to distribution, wood and other forest products go through a complex supply chain.

FSC chain of custody certification verifies that FSC-certified material has been identified and separated from non-certified and non-controlled material as it makes its way along the supply chain from A all the way through to B. To achieve chain of custody certification, your business must meet FSC-STD-40-004 Chain of Custody Certification standard.

Assurance for consumers and a gateway to new markets

Consumers are increasingly concerned with choosing products that are responsibly sourced and made. FSC chain of custody certification allows companies to use the FSC label, giving consumers assurance about the origin of the products they buy.

If you’re a business hoping to enter markets that are particularly environmentally and socially aware, chain of custody certification is an essential credential. Achieving certification is also a great way to demonstrate compliance with public and private sector procurement policies – such as the EU Ecolabel and US Green Building Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) – that specify environmentally responsible materials.


There are two types of certification to choose from, depending on the scale and type of your operation:

  • For organizations processing or selling forest products: certification of single businesses or facilities, or of multiple sites under multi-site or group certification (this could be for large companies that operate multiple sites, or smaller enterprises that choose to group together to achieve collective certification).
  • For projects: one-off certification issued to individual objects or buildings that are totally or partially made using FSC-certified components.

Alternative routes to certifying forest products

Depending on the levels of FSC-certified wood in your products, and the scope of your certificate, you may need to combine your chain of custody standard with additional standards – essentially, extra requirements you’ll need to meet.

The FSC 100% label signifies that a product is made entirely from FSC-certified forest material.

The FSC Mix label lets people know that certified wood has been supplemented with non-certified materials. However, this non-certified material needs to adhere to a certain standard: either the reclaimed wood standard or the controlled wood standard.

By meeting this standard, a forest management company achieves controlled wood certification. This means that the material sourced has not been harvested illegally, in violation of traditional or civil rights, or in a way that threatens high conservation value (HCV) areas. Controlled wood must also not be taken from forests being converted to plantation or non-forest use, or from forests containing genetically modified trees.

The FSC Recycled label denotes that a product is made entirely from recycled or reclaimed material, subject to requirements concerning the purchasing, verification, and classification of the reclaimed material. At least 85 per cent of reclaimed material must be verified as having been recycled following consumer use to qualify for the FSC Recycled label.

Access the recorded CoC webinar in English here

Access the recorded CoC webinar in Spanish here

Relevant CoC standard documents can be downloaded here

  • FSC CoC Crosswalk comparing V3-0 and V2-1 of FSC-STD-40-004
    FSC CoC Crosswalk comparing V3-0 and V2-1 of FSC-STD-40-004
  • Frequent Asked Questions FSC-STD-40-004 V3-0 27Mar17
    Frequent Asked Questions FSC-STD-40-004 V3-0 27Mar17
  • Webinar: The Rules Behind Controlled Wood and the FSC Mix Label (EN + ES)
    Webinar: The Rules Behind Controlled Wood and the FSC Mix Label (EN + ES)