Relevant to any organization, of any size or sector, that uses wood-based products.

If you want to show you support sustainable forest management and you produce or use wood-based products, FSC or PEFC certification can help you – regardless of the industry you’re in. They both label products resulting from sustainable forestry management, such as timber products for the packaging industry, paper for publishing or packaging for retail. Which to choose depends on the origin of your materials.

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) labels demonstrate your commitment to supporting the habitats of plants and animals, showing customers and partners you care about sustainability.

Sustainable forestry can be beneficial for local communities and the environment, conserving the forest while providing work and income for people. Both FSC and PEFC focus on this, giving you the opportunity to show customers, partners and other stakeholders that people and the environment are a priority for your business. This opens up new opportunities and strengthens competitiveness, ultimately leading to increased profit.

What you need to know

FSC and PEFC are suitable for all organizations that produce or use wood-based materials in their own products. An increasing number of forest owners choose certification to show their practices are sustainable; both schemes help meet international objectives like the EU Timber Regulation.


FSC Principles and Criteria apply globally to all forests – temperate, tropical and boreal, natural forests and plantations. Individual countries or regions can interpret the Principles and Criteria to produce national standards. Accreditation Services International (ASI), a subsidiary of FSC, oversees the accreditation function.

FSC focuses on:

  • Protecting water quality
  • Prohibiting highly hazardous chemicals
  • Limiting clearcuts to protect forest ecology
  • Protecting high conservation value forests
  • Preventing loss of natural forest cover
  • Protecting customary rights of indigenous people and local communities
  • Governing in a democratic and transparent way


PEFC is an umbrella organization that recognizes national standards, such as the UK Woodland Assurance Standard or the USA’s Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI). The world's largest forest certification system, PEFC endorses national certification systems. More than 260 million hectares of forest are PEFC certified, supplying 16,000 Chain of Custody certified companies around the world.

PEFC focuses on:

  • Maintaining or enhancing biodiversity
  • Identifying, protecting and/or conserving ecologically important forest areas
  • Prohibiting forest conversions
  • Prohibiting use of the most hazardous chemicals and GMOs, minimizing the use of pesticides
  • Protecting workers’ rights and welfare, and encouraging local employment
  • Recognizing the UN Declaration on Indigenous Peoples’ Rights and the ILO Convention
  • Respecting property, land tenure, customary and traditional rights
  • Abiding by applicable laws

Getting certified with Kiwa

Consumers and business clients want to know the products they buy have been made without harming the forest; FSC and PEFC certification can help assure them of this.

By partnering with Kiwa, you can trace the origin of your products through FSC and PEFC, labeling them as being made of sustainable materials, thereby meeting customers’ demands and opening the door to new business opportunities.


  • Access new markets – consumers, governments and retailers are demanding certified products; with FSC or PEFC, you can enter new markets.
  • Display your support of sustainability – use the logos to show you have sourced wood and non-timber forest products from sustainably-managed forests.
  • Protect the environment – support sustainable forestry practices, thereby conserving forest and protecting local communities.
  • Comply with legislation – certification and labeling can keep you in line with national and international regulations.
  • Enjoy a competitive advantage – stand out from the competition by showing your commitment to sustainability.
  • Manage your supply chain responsibly – trace materials back to source and show customers you invest in responsible supply chain management.
  • Mitigate your risks – by ensuring your forest-sourced materials are sustainable, you can mitigate the risk of complaint or legal action.
  • Get a return on your investment – a WWF study showed that the financial benefits of FSC often outweigh the costs.