What does it mean to be FSC certified?

Forest certification systems are international authentication bodies that verify companies’ adherence to sustainable forestry practices. They ensure that companies operate in a way that avoids environmental, social, and economic damage.

The two most widely recognised certifying bodies are the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification schemes (PEFC). Fedrigoni Group ensures its pulp is certified by FSC, as ecologists widely regard it as the most stringent certification body.

FSC was founded in 1993 by a small group of environmental associations, foremost Greenpeace and WWF. The FSC® label identifies products containing wood from forests that are fairly and reliably managed according to exacting environmental, social and economic standards. The original forest has been screened and rated according to these standards (principles and criteria of good forest management), and set and approved by the Forest Stewardship Council® A.C. through stakeholder engagement and agreement.

In terms of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, FSC’s core focus is on Goal 15.2 (progress toward sustainable forest management, halting deforestation, restoring degraded forests, and increasing reforestation and afforestation), namely:

  • Propose methodological and operational tools aimed at the sustainable management of forests and wood products

  • Prove that consumer demand can be met by suppliers’ and producers’ range of products making a tangible contribution to the long-term maintenance of forest biodiversity and its fundamental ecological functions while benefiting local communities

FSC label is divided into the following certification levels:

  • Forest Management, FM: to achieve this certification, evaluating all the forest area management methods is essential. This entails analysis of both the early planning stages of forest activities and the operational aspects in the field, up to the felling and extraction of timber and other products. The agreement of any local and national stakeholders is further required

  • Controlled Wood, CW: in order to meet the growing demand for certified material, the FSC system admits a category of raw material which, although not certified, can give sufficient guarantees to companies and consumers in meeting several minimum criteria set by FSC. Thanks to Controlled Wood, more producers can thus help promote FSC’s mission and vision worldwide. Controlled Wood is the first step to achieving full Forest Management certification

  • Chain of Custody, CoC: ensures traceability of materials sourced from FSC-certified forests: a key condition for making use of the FSC logo on products

The primary raw material for Fedrigoni is 100% FSC-labeled pulp, 97% being COC (the most demanding part of the FSC framework).

Why do we use the FSC certification instead of the PEFC?

Although both bodies have a similar scope, FSC certification is regarded as more rigorously controlled and in line with ecological and scientific standards.