Brad Kahn, director of communications, describes the FSC as being the "Good Housekeeping seal of approval on forest products," with solid wood and paper being the two main products. He says the non-profit organization's standards are built on the overall concept of sustainability that entails synergy among environmental, social and economic interests.

The FSC offers two certifications. The first, forest management is recognized the most. This is when a team of independent auditors ensure forests are functioning properly after harvest and that owners are managing their land to FSC standards.  

The second certification, chain of custody, requires that the fiber coming off an FSC-certified forest is tracked at each step through the supply chain — right up to the end user. When a paper manufacturer buys from a mill, the mill must be FSC chain-of-custody certified in order for products to be endorsed. Any company in that supply chain taking product ownership — whether it be harvesters, processors, manufacturers, distributors, printers, etc. — must be FSC-certified in order to label the products as such.

FSC certifications are a voluntary, non-regulatory way for consumers to also impact the environment in a positive way, Kahn says. He adds that it is important for cleaning professionals to purchase products that are sustainable in order to satisfy typical customer environmental expectations.

"The logo has to have meaning and credibility and integrity," he adds. "At the end of the day, the customer doesn't want to spend the time figuring this out. They want to look at the logo and know it means something."