What is FSC® certified paper?


FSC® (FSC®-C121594) (Forest Stewardship Council®) is an international organisation which runs a global certification that promotes sustainable forestry. As an organisation, FSC® helps manage forests, milling and manufacturing processes, and manages the residents of forests, including wildlife and indigenous people, all based on its 10 principles.

FSC® Certification is available in two types – The Forest Management Certification and Chain-of-Custody Certification. Forest Management Certification means that all FSC® certified materials originate from forests that are managed by strict FSC® principles and criteria, including maintaining the whole forest ecosystem. Chain-of-Custody Certification ensures the product is environmentally compliant from beginning to end. The certification starts as soon as the tree is ready to be taken from the forest and to achieve the FSC® Certified mark, all companies involved in the supply chain, including printers, retailers and harvesters, must also be certified.

To give you an idea of what it means to buy FSC® Certified products, they ensure:

  • Products are recognised as being environmentally responsible
  • Sacred sites and trees are protected, and indigenous people have their rights respected
  • Trees used for your product are able to naturally regenerate or are replaced, meaning sustainability is present
  • Forest owners must employ local workers and pay them a decent wage, and provide the necessary safety equipment and training to carry out the job

As well as the positives of these certified products, FSC® continuously addresses issues such as illegal logging, deforestation and global warming, whilst promoting economic development and environmental conservation.

How do I know my product is FSC® Certified?

Products that are made from wood from FSC® forests will be marked with a logo with a ‘tick tree’. You can be confident that buying an FSC® approved product means it has gone through the Chain-of-Custody, where the timber used has been tracked at every stage throughout the supply chain until the end. Purchasing a product with the FSC® logo means you can rest assured that your product has come from an FSC® certified forest or from FSC® approved recycled material.

There are three types of FSC® label to look out for: FSC 100%, FSC Mix or FSC Recycled

FSC 100%

This label means that the wood within the paper is sourced from FSC® Certified forests. These types of forests are independently audited to meet the FSC’s® principles and criteria and managed with the people, wildlife and environment taken into consideration.

FSC Mix

This label means that the wood within the paper has FSC® Certified material, recycled material or controlled sources. The latter being risk assessed to ensure no illegal logging, genetically modified trees or violations of civil or traditional rights are taking place.

FSC Recycled

FSC Recycled means that any wood in the paper comes from reused material pre or post-consumer. Pre-consumer materials are items that are unfit for end use such as damaged stock, offcuts and sawdust. Post-consumer materials are recycled materials that have been used for consumer or commercial use.

What it means for your printed literature

By using FSC® paper you can be confident that the paper used is from sustainably sourced materials and has an audited trail straight from the source to delivery.

Interested in FSC® certified paper?