Thriving forests are as important for the future of your business as they are for life on Earth! Wood – the key raw material needed to produce paper and paperboard will soon be in short supply if manufacturers like yourself don’t recognize the need to source sustainably. Around 11% of the wood extracted from the world’s forests is used by the paper industry, which produces 400 million tons of paper annually. To sustain such volumes of production, and to meet future demands, you need to care for and protect the source of your key ingredient – wood.

FSC certification has multiple benefits for your business as well as the environment. FSC Certification will ensure you have resilient, supply chains, access to global markets, brand credibility and adherence to future government policies. FSC certification will give your business an edge in the global paper and packaging industry, and at the same time, contribute to the fight against deforestation, forest degradation, illegal logging and climate change.

While FSC is not the only forest management system, it is the most credible certification which is endorsed by many environment NGOs, including WWF, as well as the most widely adopted framework among Fortune 500 companies.

As a manufacturer of paper, you would either be sourcing pulp and other raw materials from external vendors, or managing your own plantations for your raw material. If you source externally, you will have to obtain a Chain of Custody Certification.

Chain of Custody: This certification applies to businesses that manufacture or sell forest products. FSC Chain of Custody certification ensures that the product has been checked at every stage of processing for meeting the highest sustainability standards. Obtaining a Chain of Custody certification enables businesses to stake claim that their products meet global sustainability standards. They can apply one of the following FSC on-product labels, which help consumers recognize and purchase responsibly sources and produced products.

If you manage your own plantations for your raw material, then along with the Chain of Custody Certification, you must also obtain the Forest Management Certification.

Forest Management Certification: This certification is awarded to forest owners or managers who agree to fulfil the FSC Principles and Criteria and the applicable FSC national forest stewardship standard. This ensures that a forest in managed in an environmentally and socially responsible manner. To achieve this certification, forest owners and managers must pass an assessment by an FSC-accredited certification body which evaluates their forest management processes, environmental, social and economic impact.

Whether you are applying for the Chain of Custody Certification or a Forest Management Certification, you would need to follow these steps:

   • Contact an FSC-Accredited Certification body: They can provide you with all the information you need about the requirements for FSC certification, including the cost and time needed for the process. Click here to find details on accredited CBs :

   • Prepare for an audit: FSC Certification requires that you meet the highest standards of sustainability. This means you have to clear the FSC-Accredited body’s audit for your company’s or your plantation’s qualification for certification. Spend some time to improve your business practices and review your plantation management practices to ensure you have a clear audit when the time comes.

   • Get audited and certified: The FSC-Accredited body you selected will undertake an audit of your business and plantation management practices. If the audit outcomes are positive, you will receive the certificate you applied for. If the audit reveals some gaps in being fully compliant with FSC requirements, you can undergo a second audit after implementing the changes suggested in the certification report. FSC certificates are valid for five years. The FSC-accredited certification body will conduct annual surveillance audits to verify your continued compliance with FSC certification requirements.

FSC certificates are valid for five years. The FSC-accredited certification body will conduct annual surveillance audits to verify your continued compliance with FSC certification requirements.

S.No Name Contact
1 NEPCon India Pvt. Ltd.
Address: A-3, Mod Apartment, 61 Vasundhra Enclave, Delhi – 110096
Contact Person (India): Aadarsh Mohandas
Tel: +91-9111133990
2 Forest Certification LLC
Address: 60/A Mahendra Banerjee Road, Kolkata, 700060
Contact Person (India): Sanjit Sarkar
Tel: +91-9674747110
3 Scientific Certification Systems (SCS)
Address: 505, 5th Floor, Matrix Tower B - 4, Sector 132, Noida - 201304 (U.P), India
Contact Person (India): Shilpa Naryal
Tel: +91-120-6758614
4 TUV India Pvt. Ltd.
Address: 801, Raheja Plaza – 1, L.B.S Marg, Ghatkopar ( W), Mumbai 400 086
Contact Person (India): Prakash Mishra
Tel: +91-9811905234
5 Control Union
Address: 22nd & 23rd Floor, B wing Arihant Aura, Plot no. 13/1, TTC, Opp. Turbhe Railway Thane Belapur Road, 400705 Navi Mumbai, India
Contact Person (India): J. P. Easwarlal
Tel: +91-8870008121

Of the FSC’s 10 principles,the first one is to comply with existing legislation. However, the EU regulation does not foresee the possibility of officially recognizing systems such as FSC as a full replacement for having a Due Diligence System (DDS). In other words, there is no “green lane” for certification schemes. Nevertheless, such schemes are permitted to form part of a DDS. The Implementing Act of June 2012 and the Commission’s guidance document clarify what conditions such schemes should fulfill. FSC has taken measures to ensure that it complies with these conditions. As a result, operators importing FSC certified products or CW materials have, for these products, a considerably simpler task than others in setting up and maintaining a DDS.


No matter what product your brand may sell, your products packaging – which carries the face of your brand – comes from the forest. More than 34% of the global packaging industry uses paper and board as raw material. If you are a publishing house, your business’s future rests on the sustainability of the paper industry. You are at the heart of a forest product’s supply chain, and therefore, can influence the future of the world’s forests.

A growing number of major brands, globally and in India, are pledging to eliminate deforestation from their supply chains and portfolios. They recognise that sustainable procurement practices are not only about protecting the environment and forests, but also about securing the future of their business. They are rising to their responsibility as the business industry, to reduce their footprint and do what’s right for the planet. But this is not a charity cause alone. Your brand will benefit in many ways. Your supply chain will be traceable, FSC labels on your products will contribute to your brand value and reputation, and you can get access to new markets with eco-friendly consumers.

You can commit to source raw material for your products in a responsible and sustainable way by defining a “material sourcing” policy that aims to minimize social and environmental impacts of your business. Here are some practices we recommend to ensure environment sustainability your policy:

   • Source material from credibly certified forests only, preferably FSC certified.

   • Source material from verified sources which have been cleared for basic social and environmental criteria.

   • Commit to banning the use of raw material from the follow sources:

      o From forests of high conservation value except if certified.

      o From forests that have been converted from natural to plantations of other lands.

      o Illegally harvested or traded timber.

      o Timber harvested by violation of human, civil and traditional rights.

      o Timber from genetically modified trees.

      o Unknown sources that cannot be traced.

While FSC is not the only forest management system, it is the most credible certification which is endorsed by many environment NGOs, including WWF, as well as the most widely adopted framework among Fortune 500 companies. Here is what sets FSC certification apart from other forest certification schemes:

   • FSC’s standards and guidelines are designed in consultation with various social, economic and environmental members. Therefore, are more widely accepted and ensure the right balance of protecting forests, wildlife and rights of indigenous people.

   • FSC sets higher standards that any other scheme, which gives users the best assurance that certified forests are being managed responsibly.

   • FSC’s impact is far reaching as it operates in over 100 markets. FSC issues more certificates globally than any other timber certification scheme.

   • FSC is the only forest certification scheme member of ISEAL Alliance, the global association for sustainability standards.

You would need an FSC Chain of Custody Certificate only if you engaged in the following activities:

   • Manufacture or change the composition (e.g. mixing or adding forest-based materials to the product) or physical integrity (e.g. re-packaging, re-labelling) of products sold with FSC claims

   • Apply an FSC label to products that you have manufactured.

   • Sell FSC certified products with claims on your sales documents

   • Sell on to any organisation downstream who may wish to make FSC claims or sell the product on as FSC certified

However, if you buy finished, FSC labelled products from an FSC certified company and sell these on, unchanged, to end users, you do not need Chain of Custody certification. However, you can apply to FSC for a trademark license to enable you to use the FSC trademarks to promote these products in brochures, point of sale materials, in-story, on websites, in press releases etc.

To qualify for promotion as FSC certified, the products or product packaging must:

   • Be bought directly from an FSC certified company (not via an uncertified supplier)

   • Be fully finished i.e. you do not change the product in any way. The only exception to this is adding the contents, e.g. sandwiches, to the packaging

   • Carry the FSC label on the product or packaging, visible to the consumer without breaking the pack open

Finding credible sources for your raw material can be hard to find. To make this simpler, FSC maintains an updated list of all businesses around the world that are FSC certified. So, whether you’re looking for paper, pulp, rubber, wood or packaging material, you can search the FSC database to find the right match for your needs. Go to and follow this guide to navigate through this.


The most common products that come to mind when one thinks of forest based products, is paper and wood. However, forests touch are everyday lives through majority of the products in the market. The paper we use, the books we read, the packaging of our everyday products like toothpastes, creams and soaps, many foods and cooking oils we consume, furniture we sit on – all come from forests.

Deforestation has many causes – conversion for agriculture, infrastructure and development projects, unsustainable extraction of timber, clearing for oilseed production, and more. Among these, growing demand for forest products like paper, pulp and wood are also increasingly playing a role.India currently uses 12 million tonnes of paper a year! Equal to the weight of 3.6 million elephants! Paper consumption is projected to rise over 53% by 2020.

Products made from FSC-certified wood and papers are marked with a ‘tick tree’ FSC logo. When you see this logo, you can be confident that buying it won’t mean harming the world’s forests. A company with the FSC label on its product also prints a ‘license number’ which can be used to verify the authenticity of the FSC label online.

The FSC certification signifies that the company which has made the paper/paper product is harvesting timber in an ecologically responsible way. Certificates are only awarded to organizations that meet the standards of FSC. Forests are inspected and certified based on FSC’s 10 principles of Forest Stewardship, which ensures responsible sourcing of the wood and proper management of forests from where this wood is sourced.

The positives of recycled paper from an environmental standpoint are many. Recycled paper made from 100% recycled fibre is the most environmentally-friendly recycled paper you can use. However, the absence of credible certification means “recycled” paper might not contain only recycled fibre. As a result, none of the benefits associated with recycled paper are guaranteed or traceable.

On the other hand, FSC uses a system of inspecting and tracking timber and pulp right through the supply chain. Therefore, an FSC label on your paper will guarantee that the paper has come from well-managed forests, through a chain of custody that is socially beneficial, environmentally appropriate and economically viable for all stakeholders involved. In fact, the FSC Recycled label ensures that 100% of the recycled materials used to make FSC Recycled paper is post or pre consumer recycled fibre.

In 1993, WWF helped create the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) to find solutions which promote responsible stewardship of the world's forests.WWF considers the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) the most credible certification system to ensure environmentally responsible, socially beneficial and economically viable management of forests.WWF therefore recommends the FSC system to consumers, forest managers, policymakers and businesses.


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