Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)

Established in 1994, FSC enables businesses and consumers to make informed choices about the forest products they buy, and create positive change in the forest products market.

The WWF Forest Certification Assessment Tool (CAT) has shown that FSC, with its robust system and balanced decision-making process, provides the most credible forest certification scheme at present. Independent research also confirms that FSC certification has positive impacts on the environment, social development and governance.

The studies on this page, led or supported by WWF, provide further important insights into practical impacts of FSC certification on a company's bottom line and on the environment.
 / ©: Nicolas Villaume / WWF-US
Hector Perez Pereyra, in charge of distribution for the Madreacre wood company-Tahuamanu Province, Iñapari Ditrict, Madre de Dios, Peru.
© Nicolas Villaume / WWF-US
  1. Economic impacts of FSC Certification

    Profitability and sustainability in responsible forestry: Economic impacts of FSC certification on forest operators

    A new WWF study offers much needed insights into the economic impacts of FSC certification on forest operators.

    Through primary research on 11 forestry entities operating across four continents, the report finds that the financial benefits of FSC tend to outweigh the costs for tropical forest producers and small- and medium-enterprises, groups that are key players in the forest products sector and play an important role in managing forests sustainably.



WWF has supported the creation of FSC as a credible certification system, with a unique emphasis on balancing stakeholder interests in the environmental, social and economic chambers. WWF believes that to be effective, certification schemes need to have operational standards that are strong enough to deliver real positive impacts on the ground, and they need to have a strong governance structure and systems in place to ensure that the standards are applied.

FSC is currently the forest certification scheme that best fulfills WWF’s requirements, as outlined in WWF Principles for Standards and Certification Schemes, and assessed by the the WWF Forest Certification Assessment Tool (CAT).

WWF and responsible forestry

Forest management that is environmentally sound, socially just and economically viable, can help meet society’s needs while preserving important conservation values, thereby increasing the value of a standing forest and preventing conversion to other land uses.
WWF has three key mechanisms to engage the forest products industry in the uptake of responsible practices and credible certification:
  • The Global Forest & Trade Network (GFTN), one of WWF’s leading initiatives to combat illegal logging and drive improvements in the forest sector, has developed a stepwise approach that can help companies on their journey towards responsible forestry.
  • The New Generations Plantation (NGP) brings companies and governments together to develop and promote better plantation management.
  • WWF has a range of transparency tools for the paper sector to reduce the ecological footprint of paper. 


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