System integrity

FSC is the world's most trusted responsible forest management solution - and we are keeping it that way. 

Integrity worker manager

Unacceptable activities and trademark use

Across the world, forests and the people and animals who live in them are under threat. Activities such as illegal logging and deforestation have devastating impacts on ecosystems, biodiversity and the rights of forest peoples.

Being part of FSC means striving for better: not just a green tick, but a shared commitment across all operations to protect forests for future generations. That’s why we take action if anyone connected to FSC is involved in destructive forestry activities or other activities that do no comply with FSC requirements.

FSC owns a portfolio of trademarks worldwide. These trademarks form part of the foundation on which the FSC system is built. We're vigilant in protecting our valuable trademarks and take swift measures to deal with identified cases of violations. We enjoy a synergetic relationship with our stakeholders who are instrumental and integral in helping unearth and resolve cases of infringement.

Unacceptable activities
Unacceptable trademark use

Regardless of the certification scope (forest management, chain of custody), certificate holders are obliged to follow the FSC requirements in order to maintain their certification.

While unacceptable activity might be any activity that does not comply with FSC requirements, the main forbidden activities are listed in the document FSC-POL-01-004 Policy for the Association of Organizations with FSCThese are:

→ Illegal logging or the trade in illegal wood or forest products
→ Violation of traditional and human rights in forestry operations  
→ Destruction of high conservation values in forestry operations  
→ Significant conversion of forests to plantations or non-forest use  
→ Introduction of genetically modified organisms in forestry operations  
→ Violation of any of the ILO Core Conventions

FSC Dispute Resolution System

Reporting any of unacceptable activities, regardless of their impact, is regulated by the FSC Dispute Resolution System (DRS). It is defined by the document FSC-PRO-01-008 Processing Complaints in the FSC Certification Scheme. FSC DRS prescribes the order in which a complaint shall be made, thus ensuring that any complaint, large or small, is considered and examined. 

We differentiate between trademark infringement and misuse of trademarks. 

Trademark infringement refers to unauthorized use of marks with the intention to mislead or confuse consumers. Infringement is remedied by taking appropriate legal action against the infringer, including using available laws where necessary. Infringement matters are dealt with by the FSC's legal department, however the preliminary process may involve national or regional offices.

Misuse of trademarks refers to non-compliant uses of trademarks by licensed users. Misuses are often remedied by engaging and obligating the licensee to follow and comply with FSC trademark standards/guidelines. FSC's trademark management unit is responsible for controlling and remedying misuses. FSC's legal department is not involved in resolving misuse incidences, unless and only when a legal question arises.

Do you have a feedback or a complaint regarding an FSC certificate holder and their certified activities?