The main information tool for attaining FSC goal is an opportunity to label certified products with trademarks. It is of critical importance that credibility of FSC trademarks is maintained through social recognition and understanding. For this purpose it is important to provide and guarantee maximally correct use of trademarks.
What is FSC trademark?
FSC trademarks are the primary tool for organizations seeking to communicate responsible sourcing of forest products or wishing to promote good forest management standards. It is important that trademarks are used correctly, and that no claims are associated with non-certified products or product attributes, which are not within the scope of FSC certification.
Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) owns three registered trademarks: FSC “checkmark-and-tree” logo, the initials “FSC” and the name “Forest Stewardship Council”. In order to use the FSC trademarks, the organization shall have signed the FSC trademark license agreement with FSC Global Development and hold a valid FSC certificate..
Who can use FSC trademark?
FSC trademark users are devided into two categories: certificate holders and non-certificate holders. The category of certificate holders includes those who held a valid FSC certificate of Forest Management and Chain of Custody systems (FM/CoC) or Chain of Custody (CoC) certificate. Non-certificate holders are included:
- organizations wishing to promote certified product or FSC as a system (for example, commercial users, retailers or wholesale distributors, promoters, nongovernmental organizations);
- organizations aiming to inform the society on FSC (for example, educational and research organizations, media organizations);
- organizations and persons offering training or consultations regarding FSC systems (for example, consultants, training companies and investment organizations, etc)
Requirements for promotional use of the FSC trademark by non-certificate holders are presented at the standard FSC-STD-50-002, V. 1-0
Where can FSC trademark be used?
There are two ways to use trademark: on-product and off-product. On-product labelling means that trademark physically and visually accompanies certified forest products or its packaging (mark, label, tag, title, watermark, retail product packaging, plastic packaging, etc.). Certificate holders have the right to use on-product trademark only in case they have an certificate of Forest Management and Chain of Custody systems (FM/CoC) or
Chain of Custody Chain of Custody Chain of Custody chain of custody (CoC) certificate. Certification Bodies, accredited in FSC system, approve and control the use of trademark by certificate holders. FSC trademarks shall not be used on products with logos, names or other marks identifying other certification schemes. It is related to minimizing the risk of mixing different environmental liabilities and protection of FSC trademark integrity.
Off-product use of trademark – for promotional use – means that FSC trademark does not physically accompany and is not related to certain products, but is used in special materials by certificate holders (posters, brochures, leaflets, advertising leaflets, bulletins, magazines, websites, corporate documents, such as letters). Such use of the trademark promotes support of sustainable forest management, certified products and information on FSC. FSC certificate holders can get the right for promotional use of the trademark.