Do we need to be Chain-of-Custody certified?
Companies pursue Chain of Custody certification to demonstrate to their clients and the general public that the wood or paper products that they are selling are traceable to the certified forest of origin. Chain of Custody certification is required if your company takes legal ownership of certified materials or products and wishes to pass on a certified claims to your customer(s). Companies at the end of the supply chain, such as retailers who will not be passing the claim forward on an invoice, are not required to hold a certificate although they may choose to do so. FSC now offers retailer promotional licenses for off-product promotional purposes. Contact your local FSC office or SCS for more information.
What type of Chain-of-Custody certification do I need?
Every Chain-of-Custody certificate holder must conform to the Chain of Custody Standard. Certification to additional standards may be necessary depending on the structure of your organization (e.g. multi-site for common ownership, or group certification for small businesses without common ownership ) and the use of uncertified materials (virgin or recycled) that you might wish to source and mix with your certified materials or products. Please contact SCS to determine the available options for your enterprise.
Does FSC Chain of Custody certification make me eligible for green building program credits?
Yes, there are many green building programs such as US Green Building Council's LEED program, Living Building Challenge, LEED India, the Green Building Council of Australia and others that offer credit for the use of certified wood products in construction. Consult the green building standard, a local green building professional, or SCS to learn more.
What other drivers exist in the marketplace for FSC certified products?
Government projects (e.g. courthouses, schools, military installations) and corporate sourcing policies exceedingly call for products to be FSC certified.
How much does Chain of Custody certification cost?
Prices for SCS auditing services vary depending on the location, size and complexity of your operation. Chain of Custody systems range from simple to very complex, and there are separate CoC standards addressing companies with multiple facilities, outsource manufacturing, and the verification of recycled or non-controversial sources. Annual surveillance audits are required to maintain your certification. SCS offers reduced prices for companies that hold multiple SCS certifications (for example Chain of Custody and Indoor Air Quality or Recycled Content). Other common certifications for CoC certificate holders include food safety (packaging), carbon footprint, carbon neutrality, ISO 9001, and ISO 14001. Please contact SCS for customized recommendations specific to your business.
How long does the Chain-of-Custody certification process take?
The certification process takes approximately 6-8 weeks depending on the size and complexity of your operation. The largest component of this is audit preparation. If you have already developed your FSC procedures, certification audits can take place in a rushed format for an additional fee. For primary producers implementing a Controlled Wood sourcing program, a 6-week stakeholder consultation is required.
What sets SCS apart from other FSC COC certification bodies?
SCS has the longest running forest products certification program in the world. With a customer service orientated focus, we aim to provide superior service, responsiveness, and the highest quality specialists available. Our Chain of Custody staff includes approximately 35 fulltime experts and many more partners, affiliates, and local contract auditors.
Can SCS help me prepare for my audit?
As an accredited 3rd party certification body, SCS is forbidden from providing any applicants with consulting services. However, we are able to provide guidance documents to help your company prepare for a certification audit. Additionally, consultant information may be provided upon request. For any companies seeking a pre-audit assessment/gap analysis, such pre-audits are available for an additional fee. Lastly, your firm will be provided with an audit plan in advance of the audit that will provide an outline for the day as well as information on documentation that may be requested during the assessment.
How long is my Chain of Custody certificate valid?
Chain of Custody certificates are valid for a period of five years, contingent on annual surveillance audits occurring once every 12 months.
How can I use the SCS Kingfisher Responsible Forestry logo?
SCS FSC certificate holders in good standing can use the Kingfisher Responsible Forestry logo for on-product and promotional claims in conjunction with use of the FSC logo. Logo use guidelines and images are provided upon achieving certification. Co-branding with SCS’ Kingfisher has resonated with consumers according to our research, as the claim ‘Responsible Forestry’ clearly communicates what the FSC certification is all about.