The Forest Stewardship Council’s (FSC) international Board of Directors has approved a new approach for addressing misleading and false claims in the FSC system. The set of actions compliments the newly revised CoC standard.
These actions include rapid transaction audits by Accreditation Services International (ASI); ASI-initiated investigations performed by certification bodies; creation of a mechanism for stakeholders to submit complaints about potential false claims; and randomized, obligatory fibre testing of products selected through the FSC fibre testing programme.
Furthermore, FSC will look at changing its normative and legal agreements to allow FSC to take action against false claims when detected, and to introduce legal and financial consequences for those caught intentionally misusing the FSC system or FSC labels.
From 2017 onwards, FSC will start testing different methods for verifying FSC claims. Amongst these are sampling of transactions for verification between trading parties, further testing of the Online Claims Platform in selected high-risk supply chains, and investigating the feasibility of digital claims and blockchain technology.
“Millions of consumers and thousands of businesses trust the FSC label, and we must do what we can to ensure that we maintain that trust” says Kim Carstensen, Director General of FSC. “Now that our system has grown to include more than 50,000 certified businesses around the world, we hope these new transaction verification requirements will reduce the number of false claims in the system, and protect the integrity and credibility of FSC.”