What is FSC Certification and Why Do You Need It?
You have probably heard the acronym FSC thrown around a lot in the building and construction world. But what does FSC actually mean? And why do you need FSC certification?
All About FSC
FSC stands for the ‘Forest Stewardship Council.’ The FSC is an international not-for-profit body (with an Australian branch) that governs the certification and accreditation of forests, plantations and timbers around the globe. It was founded in 1993.
The goal of the FSC is to promote the environmentally and economically beneficial management of forests in Australia (and other regions across the world that contribute to the Australian forest market).
The FSC is also responsible for its unique certification and product labelling scheme. This scheme is supported by institutions such as the Australian Conservation Foundation, the World Wildlife Fund, and Greenpeace.
FSC certification refers to the process of approving various products that use wood (or any other element from an Australian forest) in their composition and manufacturing.
FSC certification standards are broken up into 3 main areas:
- Sources that supply the fibre
- Processing & tracking of fibres
- Promotion of products/companies that use the fibres
Any timber species can be FSC certified, as long as management of the particular source forest complies with the forest management guidelines that have been set out by the FSC body.
Why Get FSC Certified?
FSC certification is important. It demonstrates that your product uses materials that have been sourced from forests that are managed in responsible and environmentally conscious ways, up to FSC standards.
The advantages of being certified by the FSC are numerous. Key benefits include:
- Supporting the sustainability and safe management of forests across the globe
- Improving your client and customer relationships by showing your products come from environmentally responsible sources and subsequently hold up the sustainable “promise”
- Gaining access to an expanding market that supplies FSC certified products and is able to meet customer demand
- Enhancing your internal sourcing and production operations and obtaining reliable, third-party confirmation of your material sources
The Certification Process – How Should You Go About It?
There are two types of FSC certification:
- Forest Management Certification (FM) – for those manage forests or carry out forest operations
- Chain of Custody Certification (COC) – for those who manufacture or sell products that contain materials sourced from forests
(NB: Retailers do not need to be FSC certified, but must be FSC Authorised)
All certifications are carried out by third-party FSC accredited certification bodies (auditors). This ensures that there is no conflict of interest between FSC and your own business/operations.
In Australia, there are currently 6 associations that can carry out the certification of your forest/s or product/s.
For more information, you’ll need to locate one of the certification bodies in your state/area and contact them about your certification needs.
The cost of the certification and the duration of the audit will depend on the size and operations of your specific company, as well as the fees set out by the individual certification body.
As a general tip, the more you can prepare beforehand, the more you’ll save on the actual audit.
FSC Approvals & Labelling
Once your products are certified, you’ll be able to label them with a dedicated FSC label:
For further information about the FSC label and its use, visit the FSC website.
At FSE Special Purpose Doors, we offer a range of FSC certified doors and door accessories. Contact us today to learn more about our door manufacturing process and products including fire doors, acoustic doors and heaps more.