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Why is FSC Sourcing so Important?

Post on 17th February 2022

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC for short) is a global not-for-profit organisation that is solely dedicated to ensuring the responsible management of the world’s forests.

As the earth’s natural resources continue to come under threat and the danger of climate change continues, sustainability is now more important than ever. Although major collective changes need to occur at higher levels to ensure the continued protection of planet earth, seemingly small things we do as consumers can also help to prevent the destruction of our only home.  

At Slatted Screen Fencing we’re passionate about ensuring that our products are sustainably and ethically produced with as little impact as possible on the environment. One of the strict set of criteria we insist upon is FSC-approved suppliers and timber – but who are the FSC, what do they do and why is sourcing FCS-approved products so important?

What is the FSC?

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC for short) is a global not-for-profit organisation that is solely dedicated to ensuring the responsible management of the world’s forests. Through their stringent certification process, the FSC enables consumers to clearly and easily identify where timber-based products have been responsibly sourced.

You’ll see the FSC approved logo on many different types of products that come from trees – from stationery and toilet paper to furniture and cooking utensils. More than 200 million hectares of forests are managed to FSC standards worldwide – that’s an area larger than the entire United States of America. FSC forests can be found throughout Europe, Africa, North America and Asia.

What does the FSC rating mean?

Founded in 1994, the FSC ensures that the highest environmental, economic and social standards are upheld by timber growers and manufacturers. Its holistic and comprehensive solution to deforestation and the exploitation of forests makes it the most respected environmental body of its kind on earth, with its logo recognised internationally.

The FSC employs its standards through a set of guidelines known as the Ten Principles. These principles include efficient forest management to maintain habitats and eco-systems, enhancing the wellbeing and economy of local communities and respecting indigenous rights to ownership and stewardship as well as custodial territories.

The importance of sourcing FSC approved products

Forests are incredibly important and need to be protected for a number of reasons – not just for their mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions, but also their contribution to weather and water cycles, soil quality and as habitats for thousands of animals, birds and insects. 

Although we tend to think only of sustainability in an environmental sense when we think about FSC rated timber, the FSC’s work goes way beyond eco-friendly credentials alone. The global timber industry in years gone by was renowned for its destructive and exploitative practices which harmed forests and the people and animals that lived in and around them. Theft of indigenous lands, extinction of native species, destruction of communities and the loss of local livelihoods were all commonplace before the FSC was founded. 

Forests represent a valuable resource, not just for the survival of people and animals but also for the planet itself. Reducing the impact ensures that they remain intact for years to come.

Is timber bad for the environment?

Many people mistakenly think that the best way to protect forests for the future is through avoiding the use of timber altogether – but this would actually harm the health of the planet’s forest habitats. Timber has been used by humans for a variety of purposes for thousands of years and is versatile, durable and naturally biodegradable. Forest management, when done properly, actually protects and preserves these precious ecosystems through constant regeneration and restoration. Choosing sustainably sourced, FSC-approved timber from well-managed forests is the way forward.

Simply look out for the FSC logo or ask for a company’s eco-credentials before working with them, and check that any products you buy have been processed and treated with eco-friendly materials.

Going the extra mile

At Slatted Screen Fencing we take sustainability incredibly seriously. When sourced responsibly, timber is still one of the most eco-friendly building materials on earth – and it’s vital to preserve forests for many years to come both for their benefits as habitats and carbon sinks as well as for their practical uses.

All our timbers, including our horizontal fencing products, are purchased from sustainable forests only. We individually vet our suppliers to ensure that they adhere to a strict set of standards in terms of quality and sustainability, which extends to how timber is grown and harvested. 

If every company that sells timber products adhered to the FSC values and vision for sustainability, and every timber grower on earth was approved by the FSC, the planet would be a much better place to live for humans and animals. On top of this, we’d secure a sustainable, renewable resource that can be used for many years to come. Through choosing FSC approved products, consumers can be part of this collective shift towards sustainability and a conscious, ethical way of life.