Learn about the Forest Stewardship Council® and why to choose FSC® certified packaging.

Updated over a week ago

What is FSC?

FSC stands for Forest Stewardship Council. They're a global, non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting responsible forest management. Currently, over 200 million hectares of forest are certified to FSC standards and their logo is found on millions of products worldwide. To learn more, visit www.fsc.org

What are the different FSC labels?

There are three FSC labels: FSC 100%, FSC Mix and FSC Recycled. Here's what they mean:

  • FSC 100% means all of the forest-based material in a product is from FSC certified forests.

  • FSC Mix means the forest-based material in a product is from a mix of FSC certified forests, recycled materials and controlled wood. Controlled wood isn't FSC certified, but is from forests that have to meet rules set by the FSC. These rules aim to reduce the risk of illegally harvested wood or wood harvested in violation of human rights. At least 70% of the material for an FSC Mix product must come from FSC certified sources or is recycled material and the rest can be controlled wood.

  • FSC Recycled means all of the forest-based material in a product is made from 100% recycled content. At least 70% of that has to be post-consumer reclaimed and 30% can be pre-consumer reclaimed. Pre-consumer reclaimed simply means reclaimed waste from manufacturing, such as offcuts or defective materials.

Meaning of the three FSC-certified labels.

Why choose FSC certified packaging?

There are a few reasons. The FSC's certification is the most widely used of its kind. It's recognised globally and is the only forest certification endorsed by major environmental charities. All of their forests meet the same standards and are independently audited.

So when you choose FSC certified packaging, you can be confident that your packaging is more sustainable and that you’re supporting responsible management of the world’s forests. Consumers expect environmental initiatives like these from businesses today.

FSC Mix label printed on a mailer box.

How does the FSC system work?

The FSC inspects and certifies forests using guidelines that cover everything from the wellbeing of workers to ecosystem conservation. It's this holistic approach that makes the FSC system unique. A forest has to meet all the guidelines to be certified, and only then can material from that forest carry the FSC label.

Why does it cost to add an FSC label?

If you add an FSC label to your product, our artwork team will then proof your design to ensure it complies with FSC guidelines. We charge a flat fee of £50 for this service as it is an extra step during the review process.

How do I tell if a product is FSC certified?

FSC labels indicate a product is FSC certified. If you want more reassurance, though, every FSC label has a code to confirm it's genuinely FSC certified. You can use that number to search the FSC's database and access information about the product. Or you can use a certified suppliers' unique number to check if their certification is authentic and valid. Ours is FSC-C167813.

What does FSC certification guarantee?

It guarantees that the forest-based materials in a product come from responsibly managed sources. This can be recycled content, FSC-certified virgin fibre or controlled wood.

Where can I use an FSC label?

Because we're an FSC certified supplier, you can add FSC labels on any certified product when configuring your product. We’ll also provide all the assets and guidelines you need.

What FSC labels options do I have?

The artwork guidelines for your product will include the correct FSC label in portrait and landscape format. Whilst the content of the label will be fixed, you can alter the size and colours of the label, as long as they follow the FSC’s rules outlined in the artwork guidelines.

Why can't I choose between FSC labels?

A product labelled FSC 100% is made from different materials than a product labelled FSC Mix. As such, you can’t freely choose between labels.

Do I need to print the FSC label in a specific colour?

Green, black and white are FSC standard colours, with green (Pantone 626C) being their preferred colour. If your design includes any of these colours, or you've chosen full colour printing, you should print the FSC label in one of them.

If standard colours are not available for the print area, you can use another colour as long as it provides a legible contrast to the background. You can also print the label in positive or negative, or as transparent.

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