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What is FSC and Why is it Important?

17 May 2019
Products & Features

What is FSC and Why is it Important?

If you work with print, chances are you’ll have seen the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) logo somewhere, even if you don’t know what it means. Luckily, we’re here to explain exactly what that little tree with a tick is trying to tell you.

Read on to see why you should be fully aware of the Council and what their role is within print…

What is FSC?

FSC was established as an international, non-governmental organisation with a mission to help end irresponsible foresting practices. The Council want to promote sustainable forest management so that we can continue to enjoy many forest-sourced products without causing irreparable harm to the forest’s ecosystem.

FSC assess how each forest is managed to see if it qualifies for their sign of approval. If a forest meets the criteria, it can be officially FSC certified and all products sourced from that forest can be marked with the FSC logo.

The FSC process tracks all timber products through their supply chain. So, if you buy anything with the FSC logo on, you can be sure the entire process has been managed sustainably.

What does it mean to be FSC Certified?

In order to get the official sign off from FSC, a forest has to undergo a very strict inspection. In fact, FSC is stricter than other forest stewardships and is the only one endorsed by major environment charities like WWF, Greenpeace, and the Woodland Trust.

To become FSC certified, a forest must be proven to be managed in a way that is…

Environmentally Appropriate – timber harvesting should maintain the forest’s biodiversity, productivity, and ecological processes.

Socially Beneficial – the forest management should provide strong incentives to both the local and global community so they can enjoy long-term benefits of responsible management.

Financially Viable – forest operations should still be profitable without the expense of the forest’s ecosystem and affected communities.

What Does the FSC Logo Mean?

Next time you go looking for the FSC logo on your favourite timber-based product, check to see exactly what it means. (Or even your favourite non-timber-based but forest-sourced product; like latex made from rubber tree sap)

FSC 100% - 100% of the timber-based material in this product comes from FSC-certified forests.

FSC Recycled – all of the timber-based material in this product has come from re-used material.

FSC Mix – all of the timber-based material in this product is either from FSC-certified forests, recycle sources, or controlled wood*.

*Controlled wood is not FSC-certified but follows a number of sustainable practices. See here for more details on this.

Route 1 Print and FSC

Did you know that we are an officially FSC-certified company? Well, we are! This means that we can fully track any FSC products coming into our factory and know which products leaving our factory are made from those materials. As it happens, we’ve also decided to only use FSC approved materials for our paper and board products.

It also means we have the go ahead to print FSC logos so you can let people know that you’re committed to sustainable forest management as well. If you would like FSC trademarks or logos on your products, send a message to our artwork team via artwork@route1print.co.uk and let them know what you need.

For more information on how we at Route 1 Print manage our environmental impact, read up on our blog and discover how paper products aren’t always a bad thing.


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