Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) | WWF
© Tran Phuoc Lam / WWF

Forest Stewardship Council

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.

  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. 

Stories from the ground
23 Jul 2019

Low-impact logging practices in commercial tropical forests can contribute to wildlife protection ...

14 Jun 2018

Recognising we can’t protect or manage what we don’t know, a decade ago, WWF and IKEA set out to ...

10 Apr 2018

IKEA’s expanded IWAY Forestry Standard now covers bamboo, rattan and paper, adding almost 5m m3 RWE ...

26 Jun 2017

Sustainably produced rattan helps secure vital habitat for wildlife while improving livelihoods.

14 Feb 2017

A new report published by WWF and ISEAL indicates how businesses can contribute strongly to the ...

27 Jan 2016

South American timber giant Arauco received certification for 188,000 ha of forest.

21 Dec 2015

Only the second energy company in the world to be FSC certified.

17 Dec 2015

WWF calls on Resolute to work with FSC to address the challenges facing forest management in Canada.

04 Aug 2015

New WWF research shows that investing in achieving FSC certification can increase profits for ...

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New hope for New Guinea's forests

	© Tim Cronin / WWF Australia

Home to at least 5% of the world’s species in just 1% of its land area, New Guinea is special. But New Guinea’s natural and cultural riches are under increasing threat. Read more...


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