Types of FSC certificates

From the forest through the supply chain

toc (© FSC)© FSCThe FSC issues three different types of certificates: Forest Management, Chain of Custody and Controlled Wood.

The different types of certificates relate to different stages of production and subsequent progress of forest products through the value chain. Verification against all FSC requirements ensures that materials and products with the FSC label are from responsibly managed forests.


Forest Management certification

Forest owners and managers who wish to show their logging operations are socially beneficial, carried out in a satisfactory environmental perspective and economically viable can apply for a certificate of Forest Management (FM). The FM certificate is awarded to forest managers or owners whose management practices meet the requirements of the FSC Principles and Criteria.

Special options for small, low intensity and community forest operations. (SLIMF)

Ecosystem Services

Ecosystem services are the benefits that people obtain from nature.

Forests provide society with a wide range of benefits, from reliable flows of clean water to productive soil and carbon sequestration. In FSC certified forests, valuable ecosystem services are protected. In 2018, FSC introduced a procedure to demonstrate and communicate about the positive impact of responsible forest management on ecosystem services. The procedure sets out the requirements for FSC-certified forest managers to credibly demonstrate the impact of their activities on the maintenance, conservation, restoration or enhancement of ecosystem services.

The Ecosystem Services Procedure builds on FSC forest management certification by allowing forest managers or owners to make specific, credible claims on how their management activities are contributing to maintaining and/or enhancing various ecosystem services in their forests. Impacts can be verified for the following:

  • biodiversity conservation,
  • carbon storage and sequestration,
  • watershed services,
  • soil conservation,
  • recreation services.

These verified positive impacts aim to facilitate payments for ecosystem services and provide access to other benefits, thereby adding business value for those who responsibly manage forests and those who take action to preserve forest ecosystem services. Learn more here.

Chain of Custody certification

Chain of Custody certification ensures that all branded products through the chain are from certified forests. It verifies the rigorous monitoring of traceability of FSC certified wood, from the certified forest to the finished product. This certificate is designed for companies that manufacture, process or trade forest products (timber products or non timber forest products) and want to show their customers that they use raw materials produced in a responsible manner. This certificate enables companies to strengthen their procurement policy while satisfying demand (public or private) according to FSC criteria.

Controlled Wood

Controlled Wood is designed to allow organizations to avoid the categories of wood considered unacceptable. FSC Controlled Wood can only be mixed with FSC certified wood in labelled FSC Mix products.

See FSC Standard Setting 

© Forest Stewardship Council® · FSC® F000233