Exploring Sonae Arauco’s various affiliates - The Forest Stewardship Council - Sonae Arauco

There is far more to the manufacturing process than what meets the eye. From harvesting raw materials to refining a finished product, there is a standard of ethical practice that needs to be met when utilising raw materials that are pivotal to the well-being of our environment.

Approval and accreditation from regulatory bodies that specialise in ensuring that these requirements are met are paramount to the concept of sustainability. At Sonae Arauco, this is a central pillar of our manufacturing process. As an accredited affiliate of the Forest Stewardship Council, we work in strict alignment with their central ethos of sustainable forest management.


The importance of the Forest Stewardship Council

The central aim of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), a non-profit international organisation, is to promote responsible forest management practices that focus on all stakeholders involved. To meet its strict standards and become FSC certified, companies that depend on wood as a raw material must practise forestry in a way that is environmentally responsible and socially conscious.

The central tenants of the FSC label stipulate that fully accredited companies work within a standard that protects the rights of endangered flora and fauna, the rights of indigenous peoples, and most importantly the preservation of forests. 

In practice, accreditation ensures that forests are preserved for future generations as their harvested trees are either replaced or allowed to regrow over time. The FSC maintains that they are the only forest management scheme that is endorsed by major environmental bodies which include the WWF, Greenpeace, and the Woodland Trust.


What certification means

In essence, the FSC label and accreditation, also known as the “tick tree” mark, ensures that the company in question sources its wood or paper from FSC-certified forests. It also provides detail on the sourcing and information of raw materials used within the manufacturing of the final product.

The accreditation label is displayed in three different ways to demarcate different approaches to sustainable development. These include:

  • FSC 100 percent: Products come from FSC-certified forests. 
  • FSC recycled: The wood or paper in a product comes from reclaimed, or 100% recycled material.
  • FSC mixed: A combination of materials from FSC-certified forests, recycled materials, and/or FSC controlled wood is used. Wood is classed as controlled by the FSC when there is a limited risk of it having been harvested improperly as its origin is known to the FSC. 


The accreditation process

Keeping track of raw materials from tree felling to the final product takes a considerable amount of forethought. If wood is harvested from FSC accredited forests they are tracked from the source to the supply chain using three stringent control systems.

  • CoC Certification System: Also known as the transfer system, the Chain of Custody certification process verifies that all FSC-certified materials have been accurately identified and separated from non-certified or non-controlled materials. This process follows the material as it continues along the chain from forest to retail.
  • The Credit System: This system monitors the overall volume of material being used vs material that is being replaced. The system supplies credits for contributing inputs vs the manufacturing outputs as well as accounting for waste percentages.
  • The Percentage System: Similar to the credit system but differs in terms of measurement. Rather than using volumes, the overall quantity of inputs is used to calculate a percentage of FSC content.


To get an in-depth account of the chain of custody process, read more here – CoC Certification


Sonae Arauco – certification and affiliation

Having met the stringent requirements laid out by the FSC, Sonae Arauco has been proudly certified after meeting all ten of the FSC’s establishing principles in 2019. Sonae Arauco is a corporation of the modern era. As such, we understand the vital importance of sustainable development through the adoption of the triple bottom line.

Through the understanding of this philosophical approach to capital creation, we are committed to lessening our impact on the environment and its people by continuing to source only sustainably produced products. In other words, products that are certified by the FSC. If you’re looking to learn more about their values and ethos, visit: FSC – about us.

Our corporate mandate involves “every effort to create inspirational wood products for a better life, a better future and a better planet.”


For more information on our wood-based decorative panels and services, visit us at https://sonaearauco.co.za/