Understand the conditions for using the FSC trademarks in product labelling and in promoting your company and its certified products.
FSC trademark use
You have done the hard work to earn certification. Now make sure to reap the rewards! Find out how you can use the FSC trademarks in company branding and in creating visibility for your certified products.
The FSC logo and labels help you to create visibility for your certified products in the marketplace. They also mark your commitment to responsible forestry.
Consumers around the world are increasingly exposed to the FSC tick-mark tree, demonstrating the responsible origin of consumer goods or their packaging.
The FSC trademarks
FSC owns and protects four trademarks:
The FSC logo
The name Forest Stewardship CouncilTM
The abbreviation FSCTM.
The strapline Forests for All Forever.
As a certificate holder, you need to follow requirements for using all four trademarks.These are described in the FSC Trademark Standard for certificate holders.
The main options for trademark use
As an FSC certificate holder, you can use the FSC trademarks:
On-product - to label your certified products. You can print the on-product label on your product or its packaging. You can also use stickers, hang-tags or metal plates for on-product labelling.
Off-product - to promote your company and its certified products. You can include the FSC logo and relevant claims in a wide array of company materials. Examples include your website, stationary, e-mail signatures, price lists, and product catalogues.
Generate your own FSC labels
As a certificate holder, you can gain access to the FSC Trademark Portal. The portal enables you to create customised FSC labels in a fast and easy way. You can create labels for both on-product labelling and for promotional purposes.
FSC Marketing Toolkit
With an FSC certificate, you have access to a whole suite of creative FSC visuals within the Forests for All Forever concept.
Using your login to the trademark platform you can access FSC's marketing toolkit page and download visuals from shelf barkers and floor vinyls to web banners long with comprehensive guidance.
Approval of your trademark use
As a certificate holder, you need to follow the FSC trademark standard. To protect its brand, FSC requires you to seek and obtain approval from us for each use of FSC trademarks prior to public usage.
3 tips for hassle-free trademark use
To save time and ensure a smooth trademark approval process, follow these simple tips:
1. Assign an in-house trademark expert
Appoint a staff member to be on top of the FSC trademark rules and in charge of reviewing materials before these are submitted to us for approval. In-house competence prevents regrets and facilitates the approval process. Our short trademark user course can help you along.
2. Obtain a blanket approval for on-product labelling
Apply for a blanket approval covering the use of standard FSC on-product labels, based on your good performance and clear assignment of responsibility.
With a blanket approval in place, you need to ensure internal approval of FSC on-product labelling with the standard labels. NEPCon still needs to approve your promotional FSC trademark use and any special on-product labelling.
3. Use the standard options and follow the rules
Simply use the standard on-product and off-product labels provided by FSC. Choose the right claim for your products. Observe the graphic requirements: Do not change the logo colours or contents. Observe minimum label and logo size and include sufficient space around the logo and label.
Note: You may want to use the FSC trademarks in more creative ways, for example by adding some text of your own. Be aware that extra time may be required to process creative trademark usage. You may need to make changes before your designs or text examples can be approved.
Nine ways to benefit from your certificate
In the busy reality of your daily work, it can be hard to focus on promoting your FSC certification. Here are nine simple tips on cost-effective ways to make the most from your certificate.
Are you sure that you couldn't benefit more from your certificate by promoting your certified products more strongly?
We know - it is easy to ignore what you could do when your to-do list is full of things that you should do. If that describes your situation, try some of these easy and straightforward ideas. Or use them to generate your own!
FSC Marketing Toolkit: Ready-to-go shelf wobbler. All you have to do is insert your FSC license code.
1 Use the logo and trademarks
You have many options for using the FSC trademarks, always providing you comply with the FSC trademark requirements and make sure to obtain formal approval.
- Apply the label directly to your products, use hang-tags or label the product package.
- Use the trademarks across your company materials, to signal your certified status. Why not include the FSC logo in your company letterhead, e-mail signature, invoice templates, product catalogues, price lists, and annual reports?
2 Use the FSC Marketing Toolkit & Visuals
FSC provides a comprehensive suite of visuals under the concept Forests for All Forever. This includes generic materials and visuals dedicated to specific purposes, such as floor vinyls, hangtags, shelf wobblers and social media.
Use your login for the FSC Trademark Portal to access the FSC Marketing Toolkit and download these visuals.
Provide your buyers with ready-to-go information presenting the special value of FSC certification. You can use a variety of materials such as hang-tags, product sheets, and product packaging. Or why not provide in-store promotional materials such as shelf-barkers, posters or brochures that tell your product's FSC story. You can use materials in the FSC Marketing Toolkit for this purpose.
3 Use your newsletter
If you have a client newsletter, why not use it to promote your FSC certification? Include a short standard text about your FSC certificate or simply "ask for FSC certified products" in all your newsletters. Or include news and articles promoting your certified products.
4 Join FSC events & campaigns
FSC-International and many FSC National Offices regularly organise campaigns and events that you can join, such as the global annual FSC Friday.
You can often join special FSC stands at key trade fairs, and FSC side events are frequently organised at major conferences such as the Global Paper Forum.
5 Tell your FSC story
Produce a press release once you are certified. Next, communicate other milestones - for example, each time you expand your certified product range or offer certified in new markets.
You can also communicate your support for FSC's goals and talk about how FSC makes a difference for the world's forests.
6 Set goals and communicate them
Set up realistic goals for your sourcing of FSC material and/or range of products carrying the label, and report on the progress you make. This enables you to communicate your commitment more strongly.
Consider complementing this by adopting a procurement policy for paper/timber products that you buy, such as office paper.
7 Boost your workplace
Your certification can help instil staff loyalty and pride. Knowing that they work for a conscientious business enables your colleagues to be ambassadors for your organisation.
Use internal seminars, workshops, staff newsletters, or your intranet to make staff aware of your commitment to responsible forestry. For starters, simply hang your certificate on the wall.
8 Empower your staff
You can enhance your organisation's FSC experience by providing targeted training for staff who work with FSC trademarks or sales of FSC products. Capacity building helps you to benefit as much as you should from your certificate.
9 Connect with buyers on FSC Marketplace
You can expand your network and increase your company's visibility using FSC Marketplace. This digital platform enables you to promote and showcase your FSC-certified products in one place.
Everyone can access the platform but only FSC-certified businesses can create a company profile. This means by participating in FSC Marketplace you have gained a free – but FSC ‘guaranteed’ –advertisement.
Visit the FSC Marketplace today at marketplace.fsc.org