Wooden furniture is a prominent feature in many homes, offices, and outdoor spaces. A versatile and robust material, the variety of species available provide numerous different styles. The furniture industry is a significant user of timber, either as a raw material for manufacturing, or in components and finished products.
However, there is still a risk that wood used for furniture may be from illegal or unsustainable sources. Illegal logging accounts for 50-90% of all forestry activities in key producer tropical forests, such as those of the Amazon Basin, Central Africa and Southeast Asia, and 15-30% of all wood traded globally (Interpol). Illegal logging can cause deforestation, species loss and reduced income for producer countries. Poor forestry practices threaten not only the world’s forests and the wildlife and people that depend on them, but also business and brand reputation.
A growing number of countries and regions, including the European Union and the UK, have introduced legislation banning the trade and use of illegally harvested timber and derived products. In addition, consumers have become more aware of environmental issues and increasingly want to know the source of products. But tracing materials back to the forest they came from is complex as supply chains are difficult to follow. This can make it challenging to determine whether wood used for furniture has been responsibly sourced. The FSC certification system can help to secure a long-term source of wood and other forest-based products; FSC-certified forests have environmental, economic a social benefits.
Our certification system vastly reduces the risk of being confronted with illegal timber. Furthermore, national, regional and local governments – such as those of UK, Netherlands, Germany and Spain – increasingly reference FSC as one of the ways to comply with their public procurement policies while seeking products that support sustainable forest management.
FSC certification demonstrates a company’s commitment to responsible forestry. Worldwide, there are more than 9.700 FSC-certified companies in the indoor furniture sector, over 5.206* of which are based in Europe. Furniture can carry the FSC label and be promoted as FSC certified if it is produced using FSC-certified materials under a valid FSC chain of custody certificate. Businesses buying FSC-labelled furniture may be eligibly to apply for either FSC certification or a promotional licence to enable them to use the FSC trademarks in their own right.
When it comes to forest-based products, FSC certification is the most trusted sustainable choice.* Source: FSC International Database, 2022.