September 5, 2022

Boosting sustainability in the e-commerce era through FSC.

Two megatrends have been shaping our shopping behaviour in recent years: E-commerce and sustainability. An FSC certification or promotional licence make it possible to link these two topics in an optimal way, to gain customer approval and to directly increase sales success.

Not least due to the pandemic of the last few years, online shopping has become even more established. Even if hopefully an end to the Covid-19 restrictions is soon in sight – convenient shopping from on the road, from the sofa or from the PC workplace has become an indispensable part of our lives. More and more consumers are doing their errands and shopping via digital channels – whether it’s a new piece of furniture, food, fashion or gardening accessories. At the same time, the importance of sustainability in purchasing decisions is increasing significantly. Shoppers are increasingly paying attention to sustainable features such as FSC certification, even on online sales channels. According to a recent study, about 76% of consumers want independent certification for the sustainability of products and materials.

With a high recognition rate, the FSC label is the best-known sustainability label in many European countries – and worldwide.

According to a study, the GMV turnover (Gross Merchandising Volume or gross value of goods) of the top 100 online shops in Germany has grown by around a third from 2019 to 2020 to 49 billion euros. The big players with more than 1 billion euros GMV each are: Amazon, Otto, Zalando, Mediamarkt, Saturn and Lidl. It is exciting that all of these mentioned companies, except for the electronics specialists, have an FSC promotional licence. But many FSC licence holders can also be found among other e-commerce players.

The sale of FSC-labelled products enables the promotion of sustainable products in line with today’s consumer needs and a positioning as a responsible company. There are several ways in which companies with an FSC certification or promotional licence can promote FSC-certified products online: a company can promote FSC-certified products, purchasing guidelines or cooperations with FSC. This includes, for example, banner advertising, website articles, advertorials or posts on social media.

In its own online shop, a company can offer FSC-certified products and publish extensive statements in connection with FSC. This provides users of online shops with sustainable orientation for their purchasing decisions. It’s the case of online marketplaces such as Amazon, OTTO, Ebay or Mercateo, where companies can communicate their sustainability efforts to their customers using the FSC trademarks.

Marketplaces offer various technical options to find FSC-certified products quickly and easily, thereby drawing greater attention to the certified products. One example is the Climate Pledge Friendly Amazon programme, in which suppliers can participate. Another established example is the “sustainable” award on On both online marketplaces, suppliers with their own FSC certification or advertising licence can use this to stand out in particular and increase their sales chances with responsible consumers.

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