After a month of trying to live more sustainable with paper, I’ve found that it’s not always as easy as we think. We can definitely recycle paper and cut down on the use of paper in certain areas of our lives, but ultimately paper and forest products are part of everything we do and use every day. There is however a way that we can still make smart and sustainable choices when it comes to paper and forest products, and that’s by buying FSC Certified products.
What is FSC?
FSC is the Forest Stewardship Council and they take care of the forests of the world as well as the people and animals that call these forests home. They are the ones making sure the forests of the world are managed in a sustainable way so there will still be forests left for future generations.
What Does the FSC Logo Look Like?
The FSC logo is one that I’m sure almost all of you have seen before but you might not have been sure what it stands for. The logo consists of a tick mark which turns into the outline of a tree. The perfect way to show this tree product is all right to buy.
What Does the FSC Certification Mean?
The FSC council provides certification to
There is also an FCS Recycled Logo which can be placed on products that have been made from 100% recycled paper materials. To get this certification the product has to be made up of at least 70% post-consumer reclaimed materials. Meaning the paper or wood
How Does a Company Become FSC Certified?
There are 10 basic rules or principles companies need to comply with if they want to be FSC Certified, according to the FSC UK website:
- Comply with all applicable laws, regulations and nationally-ratified international treaties, conventions, and agreements.
- Maintain or enhance the social and economic wellbeing of workers.
- Identify and uphold Indigenous Peoples’ legal and customary rights of ownership, use
andmanagement of land, territories and resources affected by management activities.
- Contribute to maintaining or enhancing the social and economic wellbeing of local communities.
- Efficiently manage the range of multiple products and services of the Management Unit to maintain or enhance long term economic viability and the range of environmental and social benefits.
- Maintain, conserve and/or restore ecosystem services and environmental values of the Management Unit, and shall avoid, repair or mitigate negative environmental impacts.
- Have a management plan consistent with its policies and objectives and proportionate to scale, intensity and risks of its management activities.
- Demonstrate that, progress towards achieving the management objectives, the impacts of management activities and the condition of the Management Unit, are monitored and evaluated proportionate to the scale, intensity and risk of management activities, in order to implement adaptive management.
- Maintain and/or enhance the High ConservationValues in the Management Unit by applying the precautionary approach.
- Management activities conducted by or for the
organisationfor the management unit shall be selected and implemented consistent with the organisation’seconomic, environmental and social policies and objectives and in compliance with the Principles and Criteria collectively.
The just of it all is a plan needs to be in place on management level that protects the indigenous people living in the forests and that
What Does FSC Mean for Us as Consumers?
The FSC mark helps us as consumers to buy products and support companies that produce sustainable forest products.
FSC Certification on Retailer Products
So, what does it mean when I say buy a box of local supermarket branded tissues with the FSC logo on?
Well, it basically means that your local supermarket bought that box of tissues from a company or had it manufactured by a company that holds the FSC Certification and sources their wood
Why Should We Buy FSC Certified Products & Does It Work?
Why Buy FSC?
This shouldn’t even be a question, but just in case you’re not yet convinced. The just of it is that by buying FSC Certified products you are supporting companies that are using our natural resource in trees sustainably, as well as helping to improve the natural state of our forests and the people and wildlife in it, around the world.
The FSC is also a global company with international standards and they are governed by 800 members who hold them accountable for the decisions they make. If you’re still not convinced, here are 10 more reasons to choose FSC Certified products.
Is the FSC Certification Making a Difference?
In the FSC’s 2017/18 annual report they had 199 274 840 hectares of forest under FSC Certification with 807 Retailer Licences. Not only that but the FSC logo is now being
From my research, I found both positive and negative sides to the “making a difference” story, but for the most
In South Africa
I’ve been aware of the FSC logo since a child and that is because the South African Forestry Company was one of the first to achieve an FSC Certification more than 20 years ago. According to the FSC Africa website, the certification has helped the logging companies in South Africa trade internationally and it is now one of the industries in the country working with natural resources that think holistically about their impact on both the environment and social structure. On a personal level, it is one of the few sustainability logos I had grown used to seeing on a number of products in South Africa and it is used on the biggest paper supplier in the country, Sappi’s, products as well.
It’s Up to US to Make the Difference
Although the FSC Certification is given to companies that comply with the FSC standards, it is up to us as consumers to make sure that the Certification meets its goals. The Certification recommends to us as consumers what the best wood