📦 Everything you need to know about FSC certified packaging solutions

We’ve talked a lot about the importance of sustainability when it comes to product packaging. 

Protecting nature is a big responsibility, but there are many steps that businesses can take to reduce their footprint. 

FSC certified packaging is one way to become more sustainable. 

example of sustainable packaging
Source: PakFactory

A certification designated by the Forest Stewardship Council, FSC certified packaging is essentially a guarantee that all materials used come from responsible forest management.

To help increase the understanding around sustainability and how packaging can help companies reach those goals, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about FSC certification and how to implement it into your business. 

What does FSC® Certified mean? 

Using FSC certified packaging and FSC certified paper is a huge step for those working towards sustainability, and it has a significant impact on the planet. 

As customers become more discerning about packaging and environmental impacts, FSC certification is one way that companies can appeal to customers on that end. 

The Forest Stewardship Council is a nonprofit organization that creates and upholds responsible forest management principles. 

With many different countries part of the council, the goal is to guarantee responsibly produced wood and paper materials for consumers. 

Forest management encompasses water quality, forest cover, protecting old forest lands, and preventing hazardous chemicals from being used. 

Forest management also considers the wildlife and plants in the area and takes measures for protection in order to ensure your packaging solutions are resposibly sourced and produced. 

Breaking Down the FSC® Criteria

You’ve likely seen the small circular logo emblazoned on many different types of materials, but what goes behind FSC® certification? 

Example of FSC certified packaging
Source: Johns Byrne

Key things to note:

  • Trees are only cut down at the rate they can be reproduced to maintain a CO2-neutral forest.
  • FSC® are partially protected through preservation in areas where endangered animals and plants are present. 
  • All individuals that work in FSC® forests are provided with training, safety equipment, fair salaries and the option to join or create trade unions.
  • Any work undertaken in FSC® forests should benefit local populations, including using local labor.
  • Indigenous populations are involved in forest management, including protecting sacred grounds and hunting grounds.
  • Depending on the socioeconomic conditions of the country where the materials originate from, the FSC will also undertake initiatives to develop local infrastructures such as schools and clinics.

To ensure FSC® standards, all wood must be traceable no matter how complex the supply chain is. 

Each link in the supply chain must also have certifications to manage traceability. 

Sites are visited by an independent certification firm annually, and companies with the certification must show how materials are being handled throughout the process. 

Distinguishing between FSC Labels

  1. FSC 100% Label: Materials are made from 100% virgin materials and are from FSC-certified forests
  2. FSC Mix: The materials contain a mixture of FSC virgin fiber and/or recycled material. The recycling label denotes the amount of pre and post-consumer recycled fiber used. 
  3. FSC Recycled Label: Materials are constructed from 100% recycled fiber. Similar to the mix label, the recycling label will denote the amount of pre and post consumer recycled fiber being used.
Types of FSC labels
Source: Eco Home

FSC Certified Packaging for your Business

Using FSC-certified paper and packing products shows a significant commitment to sustainability. 

With news of climate change and rapid deforestation, supporting the FSC’s mission for responsible forest management is instrumental for businesses. 

Moreover, FSC certification also greatly impacts how customers perceive your brand. 

Using FSC certified paper and FSC certified packaging solutions is a method to show customers your commitment to sustainability. 

When selecting materials for packaging, it’s often challenging to establish whether the materials are fully FSC-certified. 

Supply chains are long and complicated, and there are many chances for non-FSC certified materials to slip in – which is why you may not see the FSC label in all materials that you use.

However, working with packaging specialists mitigates these issues since they can work with suppliers to ensure your packaging is in fact fully FSC-certified.

Example of sustainable packaging materials
Source: PakFactory

If suppliers are unwilling or cannot provide the certification, packaging specialists can help you source suitable sustainable alternatives that work for your product. 

At PakFactory, we can source all FSC certified products and solutions to fit your sustainability goals.  

Ask your product specialist for FSC certified options to optimize your sustainability initiatives while creating high-quality packaging