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Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®)

Forest Stewardship Council (FSC): 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 developed 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 organization that manages forest land, produces or sells forest based products.

Forest Management (FM) Certification

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 organization 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

Chain of custody certification provides a guarantee about the production of FSC-certified 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) Certification

Controlled Wood enable organizations to avoid trading in 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.

Once an organization is certified to the controlled wood standard it allows the organization to supply FSC Controlled Wood to FSC certified chain of custody companies for the purpose of mixing with FSC certified material.

To find out which organizations have their land and/or products certified by SAI Global use the FSC database at

GLSL Standard - Assessing Forest Management in the Great Lakes/Saint-Lawrence (GLSL) region

SAI Global’s (the certification body) generic standard has been adapted for use in the Great Lakes/Saint-Lawrence (GLSL) region in Canada. The objective of the local adaptation is to ensure that any forest stewardship issues which are considered difficult or controversial in the region concerned have been identified. Furthermore, prior to the audit itself, and in consultation with local stakeholders, determination has been made as to how such issues should be evaluated for the purpose of certification. Development of this locally adapted generic standard is guided by the requirements outlined in FSC standard FSC-STD-20-002 (V3-0) EN Structure, content and local adaptation of Generic Forest Stewardship Standards.

The SAI GLOBAL - Locally adapted Standard for Assessing Forest Management in the Great Lakes/Saint-Lawrence (GLSL) region complies with the latest versions of all approved FSC international policies, standards, guidelines and advice notes that apply to the interpretation of the FSC Principles and Criteria, as published on the official FSC website, and subject to relevant guidance from FSC in relation to standards effective dates.

Download the GLSL Standard (English)

Download the GLSL Standard (French)


links to different programs

meet our FORESTRY manager

Sylvain Frappier, Forestry ManagerSAI Global's technical manager for the forestry series of standards. Contact Sylvain via email:

Download the Forestry Whitepaper

Chain of Custody Certification - Choosing the right path.Compare the three main Chain of Custody (CoC) Forestry standards: Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), and Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC.)

Generic Forest Stewardship Standard

Dispute Resolution Process