The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an international non-profit, multi-stakeholder organization established in 1993 to promote responsible management of the world's forests. The FSC does this by setting standards on forest products,with certifying and labeling them as eco-friendly. The FSC's stated mission is to "promote environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable management of the world's forests".To this end the body has published a global strategy with five goals:
- Advancing globally responsible forest management.
- Ensure equitable access to the benefits of FSC systems.
- Ensure integrity, credibility and transparency of the FSC system.
- Create business value for products from FSC certified forests.
- Strengthen the global network to deliver on goals 1 through 4.
These goals are being promoted by activities which are managed and developed through six program areas:forests, chain of custody, social policy, monitoring and evaluation, quality assurance and ecosystem services.
It claims that forests managed to its standards offer benefits to both local and wider communities and these are said to include cleaner air and water, and a contribution to mitigating the effects of climate change.
Directly or indirectly, FSC addresses issues such as illegal logging, deforestation and global warming and some reports indicate positive effects on economic development, environmental conservation, poverty alleviation and social and political empowerment.
Using the FSC logo signifies that the product comes from responsible sources—environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable. The FSC label is used on a wide range of timber and non-timber products from paper and furniture to medicine and jewelry. and aims to give consumers the option of supporting responsible forestry.