FSC® (Forest Stewardship Council®) is an organization that manages and controls “the use of the forest” so everyone can get what they need in an Eco-friendly way. This membership-led organization sets standards under which forests and companies are certified. Being a member consists of three chambers — environmental, economic, and social — to ensure the balance and highest level of integrity.
To be FSC® certified means that you are part of a “chain”.
This chain goes as follows:
- A company cuts the tree
- A certified buyer buys the veneers
- A company makes the panels
- A company then buys the panels
- A company makes the furniture/decor
Anyone who is involved in this “chain” in any way has to be FSC certified. From the very first supplier to the final client they all have to be certified in order to finish an FSC job. This way the organization has control throughout the whole process. They are very strict in monitoring to make sure the chain isn’t broken.
There are three different types of labels in terms of material/wood:
1-FSC 100%, where material is only sourced from FSC-certified forests.
2-FSC Recycled, where products are made from 100% recycled materials.
3-FSC Mix or CW, which allows manufacturers to mix FSC-certified material with non-certified materials in FSC-labeled products under controlled conditions. (most common)
Usually when a project is requested to be FSC it is also required to be Low emission of Formaldehyde
Under California formaldehyde Regulation (which is the regulation that everyone follows), manufacturers may receive exemption if they demonstrate their ability to make low emitting formaldehyde products.
All wood has formaldehyde in it, it is a natural occurrence. Therefore, there is no 100% formaldehyde free products, but they differentiate it by the amount of formaldehyde in glue components.
There are TWO categories:
1- NAF (No added Formaldehyde) – The glue does not contain formaldehyde of any kind – It is made out of Soy, Polyvinyl acetate etc. (Columbia Forest uses a glue called Purebond made out of soy).
2- ULEF (Ultra Low emitting Formaldehyde) – Which could be a really low emitting UREA formaldehyde and/or Phenol Formaldehyde, resorcinol formaldehyde etc.
Both the NAF and ULEF are considered “green products” or “California Phase 2 Compliant”.
As for the ULEF, there is a subcategory called NAUF (Non added UREA formaldehyde – which is most common): In this subcategory there is formaldehyde but ULTRA LOW (called PHENOL-formaldehyde) but there is NO UREA formaldehyde.
Basically, there is NAF and NAUF: First one has NO formaldehyde whatsoever and the other has one NO UREA formaldehyde (only an ultra-low formaldehyde called phenol-formaldehyde).
“FSC 100% is, of course, the best you can get. But this isn’t to say that because a product uses an FSC Mix label, rather than FSC 100%, it shouldn’t be trusted. It is still a symbol of responsible forest management.”
Ask us about our FSC certified products.
For more Information visit https://us.fsc.org/en-us