Let’s face it: by 2022, everyone knows that customers all over the world, and in every facet of life, are becoming more and more concerned with the environment and sustainability. In fact, a recent survey shows as many as one-third of consumers worldwide are willing to pay more for sustainable, environmentally friendly products. As many as 60% of American consumers state sustainability factors into their purchasing behavior.
To this end, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) oversees a labeling program for products that utilize forests for goods. But what does this mean, exactly?
In this article, the label and packaging experts at United Label explain what the FSC label means in terms of labeling on products, including consumer packaged goods, and why it’s so important.
What is an FSC label?
It’s a label on forest-based products that shows information about where the materials came from that were used as raw materials for the finished product that bears the label.
For example, a package of paper towels that has an FSC label would show the origins of the wood that made the paper for the paper towel rolls.
What do FSC labels mean?
FSC labels indicate that the manufacturer of the forest-based products harvests wood from forests certified or owned by the Forest Stewardship Council.
This organization helps to manage forests responsibly in an effort to prevent deforestation and decimation of Earth’s trees.
What information is on an FSC label?
A Forest Stewardship Council label includes the following information:
- The official FSC logo
- One of the following three words, depending on the certificate: MIX, RECYCLED, 100%
- A brief statement of what each of those words means
- An FSC certificate number that consumers can research for more information
Why are there three types of FSC labels?
Because each label signifies a particular level of sustainability.
- A label with the word MIX indicates the products bearing this label are made from a mixture of materials from FSC-certified forests, FSC-controlled wood, or recycled products. Please note that FSC-controlled wood is not the same as FSC-certified forests. However, FSC-controlled wood does mitigate the risk of the wood coming from unacceptable sources. A MIX label says “Supporting responsible forestry.”
- A label with the word RECYCLED means the products bearing this designation have been verified as coming from 100% recycled content either from post-consumer or pre-consumer reclaimed materials. Purchasing these products alleviates the strain on virgin forests. A RECYCLED label says “Made from recycled material.”
- A label with the word 100% indicates the materials for these products came from forests managed according to the Forest Stewardship Council’s vaunted social and environmental standards. This label showcases the highest mark of distinction for FSC-certified products because these companies foster the goals of the ecologically minded organization. A 100% label says “From well-managed forests.”
Why are FSC labels important?
Labeling of this nature allows consumers to choose to purchase items made using modern yet sustainable practices. The Forest Stewardship Council uses independent, third-party auditors to determine what companies earn various certificates, therefore they are impartial as to the designation of each certificate.
How does a company earn certification from FSC?
To receive any of these three labels, a company must meet the following criteria:
- Meet a Chain of Custody Certification standard
- Verify to an impartial third-party auditor that forest-based materials originated from a responsibly grown and monitored forest
- The materials must not be harvested using practices that violate human rights, illegally, or from genetically modified trees
How can I search for an FSC certificate number?
Go to the Forest Stewardship Council’s website and input the certificate number you see on the label through the FSC certificate database. There, you will find more detailed information.
Who can print labels with the FSC standards on them?
United Label Corp. can help companies print labels that showcase FSC certificates on them. We are a custom label manufacturer and printer that designs and creates labels for business and industry.
Contact us today, and we’ll start the conversation about labels for your forest-based products that meet your exact specifications.