What does it mean when a product, like indoor furniture, is referred to or labeled as FSC Certified? The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), is a non-profit organization that sets certain high standards to make sure that forestry is practiced in an environmentally responsible and socially beneficial manner. If a product, like a piece of indoor wooden furniture, is labeled as “FSC Certified,” it means that the wood used in the product and the manufacturer that made it met the requirements of the Forest Stewardship Council.

(Jaoudi furniture products with FSC labels)

The FSC certification is considered the “gold standard” designation for wood harvested from forests that are responsibly managed, socially beneficial, environmentally conscious, and economically viable.

Why You Should Consider FSC-Certified Furniture

Forests cover 30% of global land area, according to the FSC. The increasing demand for wooden furniture over the world leads to more and more legal and illegal logging of remaining primary forests. At current rates of deforestation, the remaining biodiversity-rich natural forests in South American, Asian, and African countries could disappear within a decade. Experts recommend that consumers look for and request products with a Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) logo, which means the wood is traceable to a sustainably managed forest.

Understanding FSC Labels

While the FSC makes a somewhat complicated process and the chains of supply easier to understand for consumers, it helps to know just what the three labels on most products mean:

  • FSC 100 percent: Products come from FSC-certified forests.
  • FSC recycled: The wood or paper in a product comes from reclaimed material.
  • FSC mixed: A mix means at least 70 percent of the wood in a product comes from FSC-certified or recycled material; while 30 percent is made of controlled wood.

Searching for Products in the FSC Database

To more easily track down the right sustainable products, the Global FSC Certificate Database provides a Product Classification tool to research and identify companies and importers/exporters of certified materials and products. The tool helps you find certified companies using drop-down menus to let you select a product type, like “indoor furniture” or “reclaimed furniture”, along with certificate status, the name of an organization, country, etc. From there, it presents a list of companies, descriptions of products, country of origin, and other details to help you find a product that is FSC certified or to check to discover when if the certification has lapsed.

Second- and third-level searches will help you to refine a search for a product that is FSC certified. A Product Data tab provides more details about the types of materials included in the certificate or certified products.

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