The War of the Green Stickers: Relevant or Political Tools?

Founded in 1993, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) was originally a technical process to determine whether forest products entering the market space were legally sourced and maintained in accordance with standards acceptable to the industry, the public, the community, and civil society actors. But over time the lucrative business of gaining corporate contracts has created competing green labels that are battling for market space dominance under the guise of sustainability, environmental protection, and questionable development agendas.

Increasingly the disagreement between the labels has become less about the technical process and has instead been hijacked by political interests that want to gain dominance over the industry and force industry sectors to become compliant with the green political agenda. Critical voices within the industry and among the FSC, World Business Council of Sustainable Development (WBCSD), and the public are becoming louder and forming a critical resistance movement against the politicization of the label. Many commentators have taken the view that the FSC has departed from being a technical certification label and has instead become a platform for political agendas.

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