What is the FSC and Why is it Vital to Sustainability?

At EcoChoice, we pride ourselves on sustainability. Our whole company is built on the idea that we can construct in a way that helps the planet rather than harms it, using sustainable, renewable timber to create incredible buildings, piers and decking projects. So if you read our blog regularly, you might see us mentioning the FSC fairly frequently. But what is the FSC, and why should it be a label you look out for when buying timber?

What is the FSC?

FSC stands for Forest Stewardship Council, and it’s a well-known organisation that strives to promote responsible forest management around the globe. 

The FSC was established by the Rainforest Alliance back in 1994, when climate change, global warming and sustainability were becoming more hotly debated issues. They saw that as our use for natural materials such as timber was going to increase in line with the population, there needed to be a measure by which we could ensure responsible forestry. So they set up a non-profit, non-governmental organisation to do just that.

They aim to create balance in the growing timber supply industry. By conducting forestry in a more responsible way, the FSC believes we can meet the world’s timber needs whilst also keeping forests alive and flourishing. 

What Does FSC Certification Mean?

You have probably heard of products or even projects being FSC certified, but what does that actually mean? In short, it’s a sign that the wood in the item has been sourced from a sustainable forest which is well-managed and independently audited. Their sustainable way of harvesting forests now covers over 200 million hectares of forest globally, benefiting the planet, local wildlife and the people who depend on these patches of nature for their livelihoods.

FSC-certified forests adhere to environmental, economic and social standards, based on ten key principles. These principles look at a whole host of issues, including:

  • Promoting the conservation of wildlife (animals and plants)

  • Maintaining workers’ rights

  • Analysing the environmental impact of the forest

  • Promoting biodiversity

The general idea is that if a forest is FSC certified, wood sourced from it has no negative impact on the natural environment. 

By offering certification, the FSC allows for more transparency throughout the supply chain. It means that companies like us and people like you can choose to buy wood which comes from sustainable forests. By making the EcoChoice, you can create a difference with every piece of timber you lay. 

What an FSC-Certified Forest Looks Like

When you see the FSC logo, you can picture a forest that’s flourishing whilst still providing useful materials. An FSC forest means that any trees that have been harvested for the your wooden product have been replaced or left to regenerate naturally. Some areas of the forest may even be completely off-limits, allowing for rare animals and plants to flourish in their natural habitat. 

Around 60 million indigenous people rely on forests, and the FSC ensures their rights are protected in certified forests. Anywhere they live, rely upon or see as sacred isn’t felled, which is exactly how it should be. Local workers are also protected and are given the right training, equipment and pay for the work at hand to ensure safety and security. Any wood which is certified by the FSC is tracked throughout its production, all the way to the final end-use (such as your dining table). That way, you know that every step of its journey has been ethical and environmentally sound.

Why is the FSC Vital to Sustainability?

As our population continues to grow, we need more resources. But we can’t simply plunder the earth and expect no repercussions. Without being responsible, the forests we harvest can quickly disappear, leading to the devastating losses of animals and plants and catastrophic impact on the planet’s climate. 

The FSC works to ensure this won’t happen. Forests play a vital role in our ecosystem,  from mitigating climate change by removing CO2 from our atmosphere to acting as a barrier against floods and strong winds, and the FSC is determined to protect them. They work towards balance, creating forests that we can use for timber whilst still seeing the many environmental and social benefits these stretches of land have to continue to provide.

FSC Certified Wood is the Eco-Friendly Option

If you are building, FSC certified wood is a brilliant, sustainable option. Wood is both renewable and biodegradable, and by using it in place of plastic, concrete or steel you will be helping to cut down on the world’s pollution and emissions problem, not to mention illegal timber. When wood is sourced sustainably, with FSC certification on the invoice, it is often a far better option than other building materials. 

Where Can You Find FSC Certified Timber?

If you’ve decided that FSC certified timber is the material for you, we can help! At EcoChoice, we supply a wide range of timber for decking and cladding as well as civil and marine projects, all of which is usually certified and tracked by the FSC. We’ve been promoting the use of sustainable, renewable materials in construction since 2005, so it’s safe to say that when it comes to timber we know our stuff.

From Greenheart to Oak, we supply a wide range of sustainable timber species, all with unique properties which make them stand out. Whatever you need for your project, we can help you find it. 

Get in Touch to Find Out More

If you would like to learn more about the FSC certified timber at EcoChoice or need help picking the best species for your project, feel free to get in touch with our team today! When it comes to your timber needs, we’re always happy to help.

Image: Juan Carlos Munoz / Shutterstock.com

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