FSC Controlled Wood Standard: What It Is and What It's For

Lead Author: Matthew Wenban-Smith

Publish date: 05.23.2007

 

The Forest Stewardship Council’s (FSC's) revised "FSC Controlled Wood" standard came into effect for FSC chain-of-custody certified primary wood product manufacturers on January 1, 2007 and for secondary manufacturers January 1, 2008.

 

For FSC and its members the standard's primary purpose is to ensure that all of the non-FSC-certified wood in 'mixed' FSC products comes from acceptable sources, as defined by the FSC membership. But the standard potentially has other uses - as a tool to exclude illegally harvested timber from company supply chains; as a 'first step' for modular approaches to certification; and as a tool to manage reputational risk in the forest sector. The standard also has potential negative impacts, including additional costs for companies labeling 'FSC-mixed' products and, potentially, for forest product companies operating in or sourcing from 'controversial' forest regions.

 

This article explains the origins of the “Controlled Wood” standard and its requirements.