The truth about FSC.
What comes to mind when you hear FSC? Most of us are inclined to think that only trees from managed forests can receive this astute recognition and “green” seal of approval, however this really is not the case.
When the FSC organization began in 1993, that inclination was true. Only trees that came from managed forests were allowed to be part of the FSC chain of custody, or were 100% Pure FSC. Meaning the lumber could be traced from the end user to the the forest where the log originated. Because not every forest in the US is FSC certified and mills cannot buy their wood from only one or two companies, it takes incredible detail to maintain an inventory of hundreds of thousands pieces of wood that essential look exactly the same. So… they came up with the “Mix” certification title.
Now, to clarify, the wood that is Non-FSC has to pass the following criteria:
PRINCIPLE #1: COMPLIANCE WITH LAWS AND FSC PRINCIPLES
PRINCIPLE #2: TENURE AND USE RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
PRINCIPLE #3: INDIGENOUS PEOPLES’ RIGHTS
PRINCIPLE #4: COMMUNITY RELATIONS AND WORKER’S RIGHTS
PRINCIPLE #5: BENEFITS FROM THE FOREST
PRINCIPLE #6: ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT
PRINCIPLE #7: MANAGEMENT PLAN
PRINCIPLE #8: MONITORING AND ASSESSMENT
PRINCIPLE #9: MAINTENANCE OF HIGH CONSERVATION VALUE FORESTS
PRINCIPLE #10: PLANTATIONS
As long as it passes the 10 criteria it can then be mixed with FSC material. So you may order 10 pieces of 2x4x8 FSC Lumber. Your receipt will say “FSC Mix” it also maybe followed by a percentage. Every mix has a percentage, because the mill knows how many FSC vs Non FSC pieces (or credits) they have in stock, and they can only sell the as many FSC pieces as they purchased. When they go to pull your FSC order, they pull from the pile of combined stock that they have.
To clarify, the best comparison to this is buying renewable energy. When you buy wind power for electricity in your home, the power that runs your home may come from a non-renewable source. It would be too difficult and maybe impossible for the energy companies to organize each power source to each house, so it is “mixed”.
In either case, buying renewable energy sources of FSC wood, you are making a conscious decision to support sustainable practices. The more we support these practices, the more likely they will be come the standard.