Forest Certification

Chain-of-Custody Process

photo: Showing Chain of Custody Process from the forest through manufacturing

Chain-of-Custody (CoC) Certification is a process that tracks materials from the forest to the consumer through harvesting, processing, manufacturing, and distribution.

CoC tracking and documentation requirements verify that the product was grown, harvested, and manufactured in a manner consistent with the principles of forest certification. If at any point a product is legally transferred to a noncertified manufacturer, that product is no longer considered certified and cannot be labeled as such.

Importance of the Chain-of-Custody Certification

Forest certification is widely seen as the most important initiative of recent decades to promote the sustainable forest management. Acquiring and maintaining a current CoC certificate allows a manufacturer to market forest products using the certified logo. By doing so, the manufacturer is able to access a wider array of markets and customers. photo: 2x4 lumber showing FSC logoThis is becoming increasingly important in today's market, where consumers want assurance that purchased products were harvested and manufactured in a way that is consistent with sustainability and responsible management. A CoC certificate signifies that the certificate holder has responsibly addressed both the social and environmental aspects during each step of the manufacturing process. Therefore, acquiring a CoC certificate reflects positively on the producer.

Both FSC® and SFI® have seen significant increases in the number of CoC certificates since 2005, in part because several green building initiatives require the use of certified fiber in order to qualify for green building credits.


Do your part to protect forests by purchasing certified wood products! Look for the FSC or SFI logo.

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