The Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) is an international l independent and non-profit organization which aims to promote the good management of forest resources. This goal is promoted through the creation of credible standards recognized by in the industrial, environmental and social realms.

Some of the best-known names in the environmental and production fields support the FSC, including environmental organizations such as Greenpeace and WWF as well as companies such as: and WWF as well as companies such as Tetra Pak®, Tembec, Suzano, Stora Enso, SCA, Sappi, IKEA, Hewlett-Packard Company (HP), CEPI (Belgium), B&Q (UK), ASDI and Auraco.

The FSC standards provide for the certification of the forests of origin (Forest Management, FM), and of the companies that transform the base wood material into wood or paper products (Chain of Custody, COC).

The FSC brand identifies products made with raw materials deriving from ethically managed forests or plantations according to the principles and criteria of the two main standards:

FSC® certification: certification code FSC-N001886

Delivering FSC certification services in association with Interface NRM.


How long does it usually take to issue an FSC certificate?

Vireo undertakes to issue the certificates within 10 working days from the date of the audit. In the event of particular urgency, companies can inform Vireo of their needs in order to shorten the time required for issuing the certificate.
Please note that obtaining the certificate is subject to the positive outcome of the audit.

How long are FSC certificates valid for?

FSC certificates are valid for five years.

What should a company do when it realizes that its certificate is about to expire/expired?

Vireo, as a certification body, always takes care to inform companies in their portfolio that their certification is about to expire.
About four months before the certification is due to expire, Vireo Customer Service contacts the company to manage all the documentation for the renewal of the certificate, so that the company is not left uncovered.

If, on the other hand, the company decides not to renew the certificate and realizes, once the expiration date has passed, that they do still need certification, they can contact Vireo to plan an audit with the highest priority so that a new valid certificate can be issued. The certificate code and the license code for using the FSC trademarks can also be retrieved with an expired certificate.

How can consumers recognize certified products?

FSC certified wood and paper products are identified by an on-product label. Each label contains a unique license code that identifies the certified organization that manufactured the product.

Where can the standards related to FSC certification be found?

On the FSC International portal, in the Document Centre section, the most updated version of all the standards for certification is always available.
On the Vireo website, in the download section, the updated versions of the Chain of Custody Standard and the Standard for the use of FSC Trademarks by Certificate Holders are available.

Does Vireo offer training/refresher courses?

In the event of particular updates to the standards, Vireo offers training courses to inform companies about the principal updates and the changes they entail The courses are always free for companies certified by Interface/Vireo.
As companies are located throughout the Italy, Vireo usually organizes Webinars (web conferences) to make matters easier. In this way, companies are able to participate in the update meetings without the need to travel!

What are the advantages of this environmental certification for a company?

The FSC chain of custody standard is an internationally recognized standard.
Having been awarded the certification, companies can demonstrate their commitment to the environment publicly and can access a market that would otherwise would be out of reach.

What labels are available for FSC certified products?

The FSC logo is recognized as a symbol of responsibly managed forests. There are three types of labels that can be used on various categories of FSC certified products (paper, cardboard, wood, panels, textile fibres…):

  • FSC 100%: means all wood, paper and/or other wood-based materials within the product come completely from FSC-certified forests
  • FSC Misto: indica i prodotti che contengono almeno il 70% di materia proveniente da foreste certificate o da riciclo e la restante percentuale da fonti controllate (Controlled wood)
  • FSC Recycled: means all wood, paper and/or other wood-based materials in a product come from recycled or reclaimed (re-used) material.

What is controlled wood?

Controlled wood is a category of material from sources which are acceptable to FSC as, although it does not represent a certified material, it guarantees companies and consumers compliance with certain minimum criteria established by the Forest Stewardship Council. Controlled wood is combined with FSC 100% or FSC Recycled material to make an FSC Mix certified paper, wood or textile product.

Chain of custody standard

The chain of custody (Chain of Custody, CoC) is a mechanism that ensures the traceability of materials from FSC certified forests, through all the production, processing and commercial stages, up to the creation of the finished product. Each link in this imaginary chain is independently checked by the certification body. This control system guarantees the final consumer that the products bearing the FSC brand actually come from forests which are managed ethically and responsibly.

FSC has established, through a series of standards, what mechanisms companies must put in place to meet the requirements that guarantee traceability of all materials. FSC standards are subject to periodic reviews that ensure continuous improvement.

Which businesses need certification?
FSC certification is on a voluntary basis. Anyone who wants to sell material as FSC certified should be in possession of the Chain of Custody certification.
The FSC logo (a stylized tree with FSC written underneath it), the wording Forest Stewardship Council® and the acronym FSC are protected by copyright and subject to protection legislation.

How can a company obtain certification?
Firstly, the company must independently prepare the documents and procedures necessary to meet the requirements of the Chain of Custody standard. Subsequently, the certification body carries out an audit at the company, to verify that the procedures implemented meet the requirements of the standard. If the audit is passed, the company obtains a FSC certificate, valid for 5 years. In order for the certificate to remain valid, the certification body conducts, for the entire duration of the certificate, periodic audits to ensure the company complies with the FSC standards.
For more detailed information and to request a quote, contact us through the Contacts page.

What should a company do if it realizes that its certificate has expired?
If a company realizes that its certificate has expired, they can contact us to request a quote for the renewal of the certification.
Vireo will manage all the necessary documentation as soon as possible and plan the audit with the highest priority.
Call us without obligation to get more information!

Delivering FSC certification services in association with Interface NRM.


Contractual terms and conditions FSC-PEFC

This document is an integral part of the FSC and/or PEFC proposal sent by e-mail to the client.
By signing the proposal, the client declares to have downloaded this contractual document, to have carefully read it and to accept its contents.


This procedure describes how Vireo resolves disputes and conflicts, in the case of FSC/PEFC certification. The procedure is available in the local language of all countries where we operate.


This document in Italian describes the requirements for the proper use of PEFC trademarks.


The PEFC Chain of Custody standard, PEFC STD 2002:2020, officially came into effect on February 14, 2020.


On October 1, 2021, the new standard for the use of FSC trademarks was published: FSC-STD-50-001, V2-1. The document can be used as of January 1, 2022. The transition period from the previous standard will end on June 30, 2024.


On Feb. 2, 2021, the new chain-of-custody standard for FSC certification (FSC-STD 40-004, v3.1) was published, effective Sept. 1, 2021.


The Certification guidance document provides a description of the main aspects of the certification process.

The attached document contains the certification contracts according to the FSC® and PEFCTM standards and lists the rights and obligations of certificate holders according to these standards.