Client demand drives FSC certification

The latest FSC Global Market Survey shows that the main reasons for gaining and maintaining FSC certification are client demand, potential markets and partners, and holding on to existing clients.

More and more of today’s consumers are insisting on buying environmentally responsible and sustainable products. Many businesses are meeting this growing demand through FSC certification, and finding that it opens up even more markets to them in the process. More than 80 per cent of respondents to the 2014 FSC Global Market Survey reported increased or steady sales of FSC-certified products between July 2013 and June 2014.

Established FSC certificate holders were asked to select all the reasons they maintain their certification. Nearly half (43.5 per cent) of respondents in this category said that they carry on with certification because it is a valuable tool for reaching potential markets and clients, while 38.6 per cent cited maintaining existing clients as a reason. Incorporation of FSC certification into a corporate sustainability strategy and commitment to responsible forestry were also important reasons for maintaining certification, with 38.4 and 23.7 per cent respectively.

“The results of the survey suggest that profits don’t have to come at the expense of environmental and social benefits. FSC certification can provide a competitive edge, and the opportunity to be a leader in your sector – it’s simply good business,” said Marcelle Peuckert, Director, Business Development for FSC.

New certificate holders also take the decision to become certified for a range of mainly economic reasons. Over half (52.5 per cent) cited client demand, but improved market access and competitive advantage were also important, with 12.1 per cent and 11.9 per cent respectively.

“Many businesses seek out FSC certification because their clients, and the market, value responsible businesses practices. Customers are increasingly informed and can distinguish between businesses that are truly committed to sustainability, and those that simply talk about it. Customers demand products from responsible and ethical sources, and they know that the FSC label will provide this security,” noted Peuckert.

About the FSC Global Market Survey

The FSC Global Market Survey takes place every two years, and aims to seek the views of certificate holders and obtain market information to guide FSC’s strategic development. During June and July 2014, 3,656 FSC certificate holders from 95 countries completed the survey. They represent 13 per cent of all certificate holders.

For the full report, please visit ic.fsc.org/gms

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