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Understanding environmental certifications

9th November 2018

Environmental certifications can be confusing. Take a quick look at our jargon buster along with our answers to some of the top questions that are asked…

EU Ecolabel

The EU Ecolabel identifies that a product has a reduced environmental impact throughout their life cycle, from the extraction of raw material through to production. It is recognised throughout Europe and is a voluntary label promoting environmental excellence which can be trusted. It is Europe's and the UK's official environmental label.


How does a product qualify to be EU Ecolabel?

To qualify for the EU Ecolabel, products have to comply with a tough set of criteria. These environmental criteria, set by a panel of experts from a number of stakeholders, including government bodies, consumer and environmental organisations, distributors and industry, take the whole product life cycle into account.

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FSC® (Forest Stewardship Council®)

FSC® is an international, non-governmental organisation dedicated to promoting responsible management of the world’s forests. FSC® certification gives customers the option to choose forest products like paper and wood that have been sourced in an environmentally-friendly, socially responsible and economically viable way.


Why choose an FSC® product?

FSC® helps take care of forests and the people and wildlife who call them home and is recognised by WWF as the “hallmark of responsible forest management”.

Did you know that 55% of people in the UK recognise the FSC® logo?

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PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification)

PEFC is an international non-profit, non-governmental organisation dedicated to promoting Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) through independent third-party certification.


What does that mean in terms of PEFC papers?

PEFC certification ensures that virgin fibre used originates from legal and sustainable sources that have been independently certified. Certification also ensures that products are tracked through the supply chain.

Did you know that PEFC is the largest forest certification scheme worldwide (308 million hectares of forests are PEFC certified, 200 million hectares are FSC certified, Sept 2018 data)

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What is the main difference between PEFC and FSC?

There are many similarities rather than differences between the two accreditations in how they implement sustainable forest management practices around the world. Both schemes hold equal value and reputation and are internationally recognised, however they apply different routes in order to achieve their goals.

Almost all of the certified forests are certified to both FSC® and PEFC schemes (1.4 million hectares).