What It Means When You See the FSC Labels on a Product

FSC labels can be found on millions of products around the world from toilet rolls to your favourite book, to that milk carton in your fridge, and other food products. What does the label mean? Simply put by choosing products with FSC labels, you are helping to take care of the world’s forests.

Each label provides information about the origin of the materials used to make the finished and labelled product.


What do the FSC Labels Mean?

This video explains how each of the three FSC labels helps to ensure that our forests remain for all, forever.

FSC 100%

All the materials used in products bearing this label are sourced from forests that have been audited by an independent third party to confirm they are managed according to FSC’s rigorous social and environmental standards. Of all the FSC labels, FSC 100% contributes most directly to FSC’s objective—forests for all, forever—and is therefore the highest mark of distinction for certified products.


Products that bear this label have been verified as being made from 100% recycled content (either post-consumer or pre-consumer reclaimed materials). The use of FSC Recycled products can help to alleviate the pressure of demand on sources of virgin material, thereby helping to protect the world’s forests.


Products that bear this label are made using a mixture of materials from FSC-certified forests, recycled materials, and/or FSC controlled wood. While controlled wood is not from FSC certified forests, it mitigates the risk of the material originating from unacceptable sources.

What's in a Label?

Label anatomy



  1. Why are there three FSC labels?

    The great thing about the FSC on-product labels is that once you know about them, you will see them everywhere.

    But the sourcing of wood is complex, and we need to carefully track how products get from forest to store. 

    The more you choose FSC-certified products, the more companies will want to meet that demand and will work to be become FSC-certified.

    Whichever FSC label is on your product, you can be sure that you’re purchasing a product that supports responsible forest management. So keep an eye out for the FSC label on your next trip to the supermarket, furniture store, or coffee shop.

    We all make choices every day – and now, when you see any of the three FSC labels, you can make a choice that helps take care of the world’s forests.

  2. Why allow mixing?

    Ideally, it would be unnecessary to mix wood from FSC-certified forests or reclaimed materials with wood from forests that aren’t FSC certified but controlled. However, in many cases mixing is currently the only feasible way for companies to make FSC-certified products. 

    1. Firstly, a lot of producers source their materials from areas where there are both FSC certified and non-certified forests, and although many of these companies are committed to sourcing FSC 100%, the FSC-certified forests in their “wood baskets” aren’t large enough to supply the raw materials to make FSC 100% products. 
    2. Secondly, mixing is needed because most sawmills as well as the pulp and paper sector operate in a way which does not allow the segregation of FSC certified and non-FSC certified material in the production. And as the exclusive sourcing of FSC-certified material is currently not possible due to above supply constraints, without mixing most of the industry would not be able to produce FSC-certified and labelled products at all.

    FSC is working hard to achieve an increase in the area of FSC-certified forests and the share of FSC 100% or FSC Recycled products in the market. In the meantime, the option to mix is more or less unavoidable. 

    Read more about the FSC control system here. 

  3. Does mixing support responsible forestry?

    Absolutely! Mixing allows more manufacturers to participate in the FSC system and offer FSC-certified products. In turn, increased supply and visibility allows for growth in demand. Finally, growing demand gives more forest owners and managers a reason to improve their management practices and move towards FSC certification. In the meantime, mixing allows available FSC supply to get to the market, when otherwise much of it wouldn’t.

    FSC controlled wood is a first step to improve forest management because it places restrictions on the procurement of non-FSC certified wood. FSC’s controlled wood standard mitigates the risk of materials from unacceptable sources being included in FSC MIX products. This helps to address significant problems like illegal logging, human and traditional rights violations and deforestation.

  4. Does FSC certification mean that all products by the company selling the product are FSC-certified?

    Any company that wants to add the FSC label to any of the products it makes must first receive chain of custody certification. This certification proves it is sourcing materials from FSC-certified forests, recycling and/or controlled sources and is following FSC-defined best practice throughout the production process and supply chain. But it does not mean that all products they produce are comprised of these materials.

    Only products that use FSC-certified materials can carry the FSC on-product label. You still need to look for the FSC label on individual products to find out which are FSC-certified and which are not. 

  5. How can certificate holders download the label?

    The Trademark Portal allows certificate holders to download the FSC labels in over 60 languages.

    Check out the video tutorial to see how to generate and download the FSC label.