Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®)

The Forest Stewardship Council is an international not-for-profit organisation that sets the standards for responsibly managed forests.

The FSC serves as the leading catalyst shifting forest management and transformation toward sustainable use, conservation, restoration and respect for all.

Today’s environment is filled with intense scrutiny but being competitive means never standing still.

SAI Global helps you see a way forward so you can advance confidently.

Meet Compliance Requirements

Ensure compliance to the growing regional demands are met by demonstrating commitment to using and trading legally harvested timber.

Improve Your Business

FSC Certification provides independent assurance of the adoption of environmentally responsible procurement practices, allowing new global market opportunities.

Keep Customers Front of Mind

Strengthen brand credibility and improve customer confidence with FSC Certification.

Build on Competitive Advantage

With FSC being endorsed by large brands and NGOs, certification to the FSC demonstrates your commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability.

What Is It?

The FSC’s Ten Principles and Criteria for forest management set the threshold for defining good forest management around the world.

Regional standards must also be used in conjunction, to reflect local ecological, social and economic factors while adhering to FSC Principles and Criteria. For this reason, FSC supports the development of regional standards for use in certification assessments in that region. There are three types of FSC certification available from SAI Global for organizations that manage forest lands, produce or sells forest based products.
  • Forest Management (FM) Certification
  • Chain of Custody (CoC) Certification
  • Controlled Wood (CW) Certification
Forest Management (FM) Certification

This voluntary certification system demonstrates responsible forest management through independently evaluated planning and practice processes.

Forest management certification involves an inspection of the forest management unit by SAI Global to check that the forest complies with the internationally-agreed FSC Principles of Responsible Forest Management. The National or Regional Standard is used to evaluate that the organisation is in compliance.

If the forest complies with the FSC standards, then SAI Global issues a certificate for the operation. Certified forest operations can claim the forest products they produce come from a responsibly managed forest. Current applicants and Public summaries of forest operations that are certified by SAI Global are available for anyone to view.

Before a certified forest operation can sell their products as FSC certified, they must also obtain chain of custody certification.

Chain of Custody (CoC) Certification

FSC Chain of Custody certification provides a guarantee of responsible forest management through the independent evaluation of the planning, practices and products.

Chain-of-custody is the path taken by raw materials from the forest to the consumer, including all successive stages of processing, transformation, manufacturing and distribution. From a customer perspective, the FSC label represents a promise that is being made to them. Chain of custody standards are the mechanism FSC has to ensure that ‘promise’ is delivered.

Operations that have been independently verified for FSC chain of custody certification are eligible to label their products with the FSC logo.

Controlled Wood (CW) Verification

Controlled Wood enable organisations to avoid trading illegally harvested wood, wood harvested in violation of traditional and civil rights, wood harvested in forests where 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.

Payments of Annual Fees

SAI Global on behalf of FSC will collect the FSC Annual Accreditation Fees (AAF) or other Fees such as setup fee for Certificate Holder portal calculated on a ‘per certificate’ basis. The fees are periodically reviewed and updated by FSC to remain consistent with any new FSC strategy and/or policy. The fees can be accessed on the FSC website.

FSC requires all certification bodies declare their sources of funding to ensure transparency. SAI Global is a privately held company funded exclusively with the fee charged to its clients for the services provided.

FSC Normative Documents

All FSC normative documents can be accessed via the FSC Document center.

View the certificate holder rights and duties here.

Where Our Services Are Located

Canada & US

QMI-SAI Canada Limited

20 Carlson Court

Suite 100

Toronto, Ontario,

M9W 7K6



CQC-SAI Management Technologies (Beijing) Co., Ltd.

2102-03A AVIC Building No. 10B,

East 3rd Ring road

M. Chaoyang Dist China



SARL 29, rue du Pont





SAI Global Italia

Srl. Corso Tazzoli 235/3 Torre A 10137




SAI Global Mexico

S. De R.L. de C.V. Monte Everest No. 615 P.B., Del. Miguel

Hidalgo México, D.F.


New Zealand

Telarc Limited

626 Great South Road,




New Zealand

FSC Dispute Resolution Process

SAI Global has in place a dispute, complaint and appeal procedure in place which is described as follows:

  • On receiving a complaint the relevant details are recorded on a complaint register by the person receiving the complaint.
  • A SAI Global person is responsible for the handling of complaints/appeals, and forwards the complaint on to the respective Manager in charge of SAI Global FSC Program for resolution.
  • An initial response, including an outline of the proposed course of action to follow up on the complaint, will be sent within two (2) weeks of receiving the complaint.
  • SAI Global will keep the complainants informed of progress in evaluating the complaint.
  • An investigation of the allegations and all its proposed actions in response to the complaint/appeal will be dealt within three (3) months of receiving the appeal. Upon completion of the investigation a full report of the investigation and its findings are then sent to the complainant.
  • Full implementation of actions and confirmation of implementation (e.g. correction and closing out of non-compliances that may have been identified as a result of the complaint) outlined in the final report will be completed.
  • SAI Global ensures that the persons engaged in the appeals, complaints and disputes handling processes are different from those who carried out the audits, made the certification decisions and the day to day implementation.

If the issue has not been resolved through the full implementation of SAI Global’s procedures the person or organization raising the complaint/dispute/appeal has the opportunity to refer their complaint/dispute/appeal to FSC’s dispute resolution process.

Next Steps

We can help your organisation to certify to the FSC schemes.

  • Contact SAI Global to discuss requirements, timeframes and costs
  • Develop and gather procedures, documents and records required by the Standard
  • Perform a gap analysis
  • Undertake a Stage 1 audit
  • Complete a detailed Stage 2 audit
  • Conduct annual Surveillance Audits
  • Recertify to the scheme every five years
  • Establish a continual improvement culture
  • Market for brand and promotional benefits
  • Optimise commercial teams
  • Ensure shareholder and stakeholder awareness

SAI Global Generic Forest Stewardship Standard

This standard has been developed for use by SAI Global in countries that do not yet have an FSC-accredited regional, national or sub-national standard.

Contact Us

Speak to an expert and find out more about how SAI Global Assurance can help you on your way to business excellence.

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