Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC) forest management certification strengthens your position in the marketplace - guaranteeing your customers that products from your forestry operations meet the world's most stringent environmental, economic, and social standards for responsible forest management.
An accredited certification body since the inception of FSC, SCS Global Services brings more than 20 years of experience to the certification of forest management operations. Our FSC responsible forestry certifications span five continents and more than 30 million acres, worldwide. This track record of success reflects the professionalism of our assessment teams, fast and reliable service, effective stakeholder engagement, and a deep commitment to FSC's mission and objectives.
SCS also offers Controlled Wood Certification for forest management operations not ready for full FSC certification.
Robert J. Hrubes, Ph.D.
Executive Vice President
Director, Forest Management Certification
Overview of our FSC Forest Management Certification program
SCS offers FSC certification to all types and sizes of forest operations including private companies, government forestry agencies, timberland investment management organizations, and community forests, as well as individual and groups of small landowners.
Forest Management for single-site or multi-site: A forest management entity with one or several sites operating under a single forest management plan.
Small and Low Intensity Managed Forests (SLIMF): Streamlined certification protocols for small operators or groups of operators with low harvest levels or under a regionally-specified size limit.
Group Certification: Certification protocols for multiple landowners or forest managers seeking certification under one certificate, under the direction of a group manager.
Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFP): Certification protocols for operations that harvest non-timber forest products, such as ornamentals and consumables.
Information is available on the FSC website about our certified clients and entities currently undergoing evaluation.
In addition to FSC Forest Management Certification, SCS provides certification to the FSC Chain of Custody standard, timber legality verification, carbon footprint, and forest carbon offset verification. Contact us to find out which certification best suits your organization.
Apply for CertificationRepresentatives of your forest management operation fill out an application.
SCS evaluates the application and prepares an audit plan and proposal, including the costs and a timeline for the evaluation process. The applicant then authorizes a work order and the certification process begins.
The SCS assessment team, consisting of experts in the relevant fields of forestry, social science, and economics, conducts stakeholder consultations to acquire outside input regarding the applicant’s management performance in relation to the FSC Principles and Criteria.
The assessment team conducts an on-site audit to determine if the applicant’s management system is being implemented in conformance with the FSC standards. Forest conditions are also assessed. A report is produced that details the results of the evaluation.
First, the assessment report is reviewed by the applicant for factual accuracy. For a majority of operations, the assessment report is then submitted to independent peer review to validate the appropriateness of the team’s analytical methodology and conclusions.
The SCS certification committee reviews the assessment report and decides whether or not to approve certification. If granted, a certificate is issued for a five-year period, subject to annual surveillance audits.
FSC certification can give you new or strengthened access to supply chains that require certified wood and can help you demonstrate your commitment to responsible forestry. Companies, governments, and other institutions are increasingly developing purchasing policies that prefer or require FSC certified materials and products to demonstrate their commitment to environmentally and socially responsible forest practices.
Costs vary depending on the location, size, and complexity of your forestry operation. Please contact us for a custom quote and to determine if certification is right for you.
FSC certificates are valid for five years, subject to annual surveillance audits.
FSC Certification is the gold standard for the practice of responsible forest management. A preliminary assessment conducted by SCS is the best way to determine whether you are ready for a full certification evaluation.
FSC Forest Management Standards