FSC forest management certification requirements are demanding for forest managers to implement. Supply of certified wood is often not sufficiently available to meet demand. Therefore, FSC allows businesses to source controlled wood to make up a limited percentage (30 per cent) of the total manufactured product. Controlled wood provides an acceptable option for those businesses that cannot procure themselves enough FSC-certified material and still offer consumers the possibility of purchasing products from certified and controlled sources.
Under FSC’s controlled wood standard, organisations must commit to obtaining their raw mate-rials from low-risk sources which excludes five unacceptable categories:
- illegally harvested wood
- wood harvested in violation of traditional and human rights (for example forced or child labour)
- wood harvested in forests in which high conservation values are threatened by management activities
- wood harvested in forests being converted to plantations or non-forest use
- wood from forests in which genetically modified trees are planted.
FSC-certified businesses that do not respect FSC policies will face disciplinary actions from certification bodies that carry out periodical audits to assess their operations. These actions, depending on the violation, range from corrective measures to immediate termination of certificates.
FSC has recently strengthened its controlled wood standard through an extensive revision involving numerous stakeholders.
How is Controlled Material Verified?
FSC Controlled Wood Standard for Forest Management Enterprises (FSC-STD-30-010 V2-1)
Implemented by Forest Management Enterprises
This Standard specifies basic requirements applicable at the forest management unit level for forest management enterprises to demonstrate to a company or third party certification body that the wood supplied is controlled. It allows forest management enterprise to provide evidence that the wood they supply has been controlled to avoid wood from unacceptable sources.
Requirements for Sourcing FSC Controlled Wood (FSC-STD-40-005 V3-0)*
Implemented by companies that want to source Controlled Wood.
This Standard has been designed to allow companies to avoid wood from unacceptable sources through a risk assessment and due diligence process. A risk assessment must be undertaken on both the origin of material and mixing with ineligible material in the supply chain. The Standard is only applicable for organisations purchasing or selling material that does not already carry an FSC Controlled Wood claim.
• Requirements for Sourcing FSC Controlled Wood (FSC-STD-40-005 V3-0) came into effect on 1 July 2016 and will supersede the previous version FSC Standard for Company Evaluation of FSC Controlled Wood (FSC-STD-40-005 V2-1) which was revised in response to Policy Motion 51: Strengthening the Controlled Wood System (download below).
• Controlled Wood Chain of Custody certificate holders have one year (30 June 2017) to transition to the revised Standard. For more information, including the implications of this revision in the Australian context, see ‘Revision to the Controlled Wood System in the Australian Context’.
The Australian National Risk Assessment
FSC Australia's risk assessment assess risks associated with undesirable forestry activities on non-FSC certified lands, including illegal harvest, forest management that violates workers or Indigenous Peoples’ rights or threatens High Conservation Values, conversion of forest to non-forest uses, and use of genetically-modified trees.
The FSC Australia National Risk Assessment identifies measures for how companies can mitigate these risks.
What is controlled wood?
FSC controlled wood is material from acceptable sources that can be mixed with FSC-certified material in products carrying the FSC Mix label.
Why is the FSC Mix label an assurance for consumers?
The FSC Mix label ensures that sourcing originates only from acceptable non-controversial harvesting, including material from FSC-certified forests, recycling and/or controlled wood.
How can Controlled Wood contribute to a FSC MIX label?
Products that carry the FSC Mix label can comprise a minimum of 70% FSC certified and/or recycled material, and at most 30% controlled wood.