FSC CERTIFICATION: FOREST STEWARDSHIP COUNCIL
Discover the importance of FSC Certification in India for sustainable forestry practices and its role in preserving our planet’s precious ecosystems.
What is FSC Certification?
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is a non-profit organization that works independently to provide forest management, support appropriate environmental sustainability, bring social benefits, and allow economically feasible management of forests across the globe.
The ‘tick tree logo’ has become a familiar and reassurance brand logo and mark to users and consumers of timber/wood and wood-based products eg paper, medicines, etc worldwide.
Environmental Sustainability is the part that can be achievable with FSC Certification. It can be attained by managing forest-based resources properly. Organizations that have applied for FSC Certification can now align with the terms of environmental management to attain sustainability.
FSC Certification in India is creating good ideas and opportunities among SMEs. As India is a growing economy, there are many companies that are trying to pave their way to excellence. With FSC Certification, both domestic manufacturers and exporters can fulfill the demands for various FSC-Certified goods and businesses like furniture, paper, wood, timber, and much more.
FSC Certification has various schemes available for its clients such as FSC Certification for Forests, FSC Certification for CoC-based products, FSC for Wood, FSC for Paper, and much more.
In India, FSC-Certified Paper traders are limited. The role of FSC in India is to promote education and introduce sustainable environmental-friendly practices. for FSC-Certified Wood and Plywood in India, the challenge for timber remains a bit easy under FSC FM (Forest Management). As many manufacturers rely on imported timber, the demand for FSC-Certified timber in India is also rising.
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) sets out various standards for responsible forest stewardship. The policies help in unifing different stakeholders around common guidelines for forestry and forest-based products those are:
- environmentally appropriate
- socially beneficial
- economically viable.
The open and transparent standards include safeguarding to ensure that stakeholders throughout this forest supply chain comply with the principles that in turn protect healthy and resilient forests for all, forever.
The FSC’s objective is to “invariably promote environmentally sustainable, appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically viable management of the world’s forests and forest based products”. FSC has developed these 5 goals for itself:
- Advancing responsible forest management.
- Ensuring equitable access to all communities and stakeholders of the benefits of FSC Management systems not limited to only the Policies, procedures, Guidelines, and Standards.
- Ensure integrity, truthfulness, (including control from non-FSC Products dealing), credibility, and transparency of the implemented FSC system.
- Create business values for various products from FSC-certified forests including Controlled wood and Recycled products.
- Strengthen the globally responsible CoC system and Managed system.
These goals are promoted, managed, and developed through the following 6 areas: forests, chain of custody, social policy, monitoring and evaluation, quality assurance, and ecosystem services.
FSC’s standards are run by some principles which act as the foundation of the various developed forestry standard:
- Complying with all applicable laws- including though not limited to Forestry Laws Labor Laws and international treaties;
- Maintaining and improving the overall social and economic well-being of workers, local communities, and all related stakeholders and personnel;
- Upholding the rights of Indigenous Peoples, where relevant;
- Managing the various products and services in a way that maintains or improves their long-term economic viability, social benefits, and environmental benefits;
- Maintaining, conserving, and/or restoring the ecosystem and environmental values of managed/controlled forests and its products/outputs; and also avoiding, repairing, or mitigating, as relevant- negative environmental aspects and impacts;
- Establishing a detailed management system and a plan that outlines the organization’s economic, environmental, and social policies and objectives;
- Demonstrating synchronized progress towards meeting objectives;
- Maintaining and/or improving high conservation values of all related stakeholders;
- Ensuring that all management system activities comply with FSC principles, standard requirements, and criteria.
Please see the list of Policies, Procedures, Guidelines, and Standards as developed by FSC, and is required to be followed by relevant organizations trying to comply with FSC sustainable requirements and get FSC certified.
What Is FSC-Chain of Custody?
To adhere to FSC Certification for CoC-based products, a business should assess FSC-CoC Standards and fulfill certain requirements such as chain of custody management, material tracking, documentation, and labeling of products.
The appointed certification body will verify different procedures, documentation, and the following of materials to ensure compliance with FSC Requirements.
This is the sign that assured product’s traceability for manufacturers of FSC Certified Paper and all relevant businesses. FSC CoC is the source to trace every stage such as;
- Processing of wooden resources.
- Manufacturing of products.
- Transportation of the FSC Wood.
- Distribution of material and assets.
Why Is FSC Certification Necessary for India?
FSC Certification becomes a necessary option in India. Businesses and industries that deal with forests or their originated products should adhere to this standard to enable better forest management, and environmental sustainability, and to raise economic benefits.
In India, FSC Standard is the best option for manufacturers of furniture, paper mills, timber owners, and all relevant businesses. The standard teaches organizations about the proper management of forest resources including environmental sustainability.
Consumers are becoming increasingly sustainability & environmentally aware of their surroundings and are looking for suppliers who can give evidence that they are actively dealing in FSC Certified products and that their packaging demonstrate the FSC label.
Use of the logo is strictly regulated by FSC and ASI (the accreditation body) to avoid misleading messages. So, when someone sees the FSC logo on a product he/she can be sure that the world’s forests have been taken care of while manufacturing and procuring this particular item. Also, non-timber forest products such as latex, bamboo, paper and paper-based products like packaging items etc, also are certified. Currently 280 million hectares of forest are certified. That’s an increase of almost 55% since 2012. And there are over 45,000 FSC CoC certification companies, nearly 2-times the 2012 number. These are commendable news for the environment as well as showing the increase of such a worthwhile initiative.
Benefits of FSC Certification
- Sustainable Forest Management
FSC Certification assures the adhered organization to show different types of environmental responsibilities. These are beneficial for social development. It includes activities such as ecosystem conservation, biodiversity protection, and protection for local communities.
- Better Conservation of Forests
Responsible logging practices originated from FSC Certification help manufacturers and suppliers manage forest resources by using forest resources appropriately.
- Achieve Social Benefits
FSC Certification leads your business to make a stand with the forest workers and local communities. Also, relying upon the legislation of the local governments brings favor to collecting FSC Certified Wood.
- Raise Customer Confidence
FSC Certification is the best source for your furniture or paper business to establish higher customer trust. The implementation of certified practices can help you to follow healthy and reliable ecological obligations.
- Bring Market Reputation
By going with FSC Compliance, an organization can fulfill various marketing standards. Also, it can open various market opportunities to expand its business. FSC Certification helps you to promote a healthy and sustainable Forest Management System within your business without any disruption.
FSC says that forests managed to the various Forest and CoC standards offer benefits to both local and global / Intra and inter-country communities. These are bound to also include cleaner air, land, and water, including the flora/fauna, and hence contribution to mitigating the adverse effects of climate change.
FSC addresses issues such as illegal forestry, logging, deforestation, and global warming including positive impacts on economic development, environmental conservation, poverty alleviation, and social and political empowerment. Many Governments provide grants and subsidies to FSC Certified companies and products.
Using the FSC logo/trademarks signify that the item/product comes from sustainable and responsible sources that are environmentally okayed, socially beneficial, and economically viable. The FSC label can be used on a range of wood/timber and non-timber products, from paper and furniture to medicine (eg Ayurvedic) and jewelry, toys, and rubber products, and aims to give consumers and end-users the option of supporting responsible forestry.
Requirements of FSC Certification
The organization must document and implement a detailed management system that ensures the following:
- FSC Manual has been documented;
- The forest-based materials you use in part, or all of your production are FSC certified. This includes reclaimed materials.
- FSC-certified material is identified and tracked during the manufacturing and distribution processes.
- All documents and records relating to FSC-certified product production, purchase, and sales are kept and kept up-to-date.
- The Organization also must also meet FSC’s core labour requirements, including, though not limited to:
- no child or forced labour;
- no discrimination in employment and occupation;
- freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining.
- Legal Compliance
Organizations should follow the necessary regulations and laws applicable under FSC Certification. These rules and obligations may vary from one country to another depending on the legislation of the local and national Governments.
- Forest Management Plan
A well-developed Forest Management Plan is necessary to act accordingly. A business should rely on the mentioned objectives and strategies to manage forest resources sustainably. This plan should satisfy all terms and conditions of FSC Certification to protect ecological balance.
- Protection of High Conservation Values (HCVs)
These areas are important to protect under the FSC Certification
Rare or endangered species habitats
Areas of cultural significance
Critical water resources.
- Respect for Indigenous Peoples’ Rights
FSC Certification prioritizes the rights of local communities. So, a manufacturer should conduct every practice under the rights and interests that are not hurting the ecological or social sentiments.
- FSC Core Labor Requirements
- Employers should know all workers under the age of 15.
- No person under the age of 18 shall be allowed to do heavy or hazardous work without any approval or training.
- An organization should avoid the following practices at its manufacturing sites such as:
- Physical and sexual violence
- Bonded labor
- Withholding of wages /including payment of employment fees and
- Or payment of deposit to commence employment
- Restriction of mobility/movement
- Retention of passport and identity documents
- Threats of denunciation to the authorities.
- Give freedom to your working personnel
- Allow the implementation of collective bargaining agreements.
- Avoid discrimination and punishment of workers.
- Training of the Workforce
Organizations in India that follow FSC Certification should allow proper training for their workforce. Also, the management should be aware of the facts that are relevant to FSC Standards. Educating your working personnel helps you to achieve ecological balance in better ways.
- Monitoring and Reporting
Regular monitoring is necessary for the sake of the conservation of biodiversity. An organization should follow the
- Continuous Improvement
It is necessary to address identified weaknesses or non-compliance for a business to bring continuous improvement to your business. That’s why your business needs the obligations of FSC Certification in India.
Why Ascent WORLD?
- Ascent WORLD provides relevant training to all levels of employees about the implementation and knowledge of FSC Certification.
- Ascent WORLD guides you on the road map to FSC Documentation and steps to implement by our experienced and qualified team for all businesses.
- Ascent WORLD has been in the business of ISO Certifications and Product Marking for the past 10+ years. We have achieved the highest level of security and customer satisfaction.
- Experts of Ascent WORLD provide 24X7 active service to help you with anything, anytime, and anywhere in the world.
- Services of Ascent WORLD can be provided as evidence and help you with the closure of non-conformities and offer you the best help to improve the efficiency of your business.
- Ascent WORLD offers reliable FSC certification and consultancy services across multiple states in India, including Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, and Karnataka.
- With Ascent WORLD, achieving an FSC Certificate is a simple step for a business, industry, or organization.
Apart from that, we deliver the following Unique Selling Points:
- Better international exposure.
- Skillful experts to handle the FSC Documentation.
- Top-class and strict FSC Audit (Internal & External Audit including Gap Analysis).
- Experienced consultants to handle your case.
- Gain technical and advanced-level approaches from qualified professionals.
- Certification is assured.
- 100% success rate with higher credibility.
- Ascent WORLD is not a freelancer or managed by temporary individuals. The result is assured with us.
- We stand at the top of the best-listed consultant agency.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is FSC Certification Cost in India?
The cost of FSC Certification depends upon different factors such as the size, type, and complexity of a business. A furniture manufacturer may pay less price than a paper manufacturing industry. However, Ascent WORLD provides a better, more configurable, and reliable budget plan for your business.
Are FSC products eco-friendly?
FSC’s main motive is to manage forest resources by maintaining the ecological balance in biodiversity. It is eco-friendly.
Can small businesses obtain FSC Certification?
Yes, small businesses can obtain FSC Certification. The FSC Certification system is open to businesses of all sizes, including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The certification process considers the scale and scope of the operations, allowing smaller businesses to meet the requirements within their capacity.
Here are some of the benefits of FSC Certification for small businesses:
- Better access to markets and consumers is one of the many advantages that FSC gives small businesses.
- Increases their supplier chain’s credibility and transparency.
- Gives sustainable sourcing a priority.
- Enhances a company’s environmental responsibility reputation.
How long does it take to become FSC Certified?
The time required to complete the work of FSC Certification may vary as per the workload, expertise, and paperwork done by the certification body. With Ascent WORLD, it will be completed within the given schedule.
How long does FSC Certification valid for?
FSC certification lasts for 5 years from the date of issue. It can be re-issued by the accredited certification body by conducting an annual audit through surveillance.