Sustainable Success

Forests for All Forever: this is the new strapline reaffirming the vision of NGO the Forest Stewardship Council®, FSC® for short. STI Group was the first company in the corrugated board industry to use FSC certification, in 2008. Today FSC is a widespread, internationally recognised standard for sustainable forestry. In an interview with Dr. Uwe Sayer (Managing Director of FSC Germany), we find out how the FSC managed to get its brand and label into the forefront of consumers’ minds.

How well known is the FSC label today?

According to a consumer survey conducted by TNS-Emnid in early 2016, aided brand awareness of the FSC logo is now at 53 per cent. Seven years ago, only 11.6 per cent of consumers were aware of the FSC. That’s a quantum leap for us and our clients.

Do consumers trust the FSC label?

A 2013 survey by the GFK (German Association for Consumer Research) confirms that 47 per cent of German consumers rate this certification label as the most important source of information about a product. No other source is considered to be as reliable. Even reviews from friends, consumer tests and the media are not as highly trusted. What FSC-certified packaging signals to consumers is this: this company is serious about sustainability and taking responsibility.

Why is FSC labelled packaging worth having for brand manufacturers?

The FSC certification is a strong selling point and helps reinforce the feel-good factor associated with buying a brand. FSC labelling allows producers to communicate to consumers that they are seriously addressing sustainability and have chosen a credible label with stringent requirements. Packaging is the ideal medium for conveying this as it’s an important touchpoint for consumers with a brand. In parallel, retailers and brand manufacturers are also pursuing strict standards to meet their own corporate sustainability goals.

What is the potential for packaging and displays with the FSC label?

The FSC label reflects a company’s serious intent to support conservation of resources and preservation of the environment. From an environmental perspective, I do hope we’ll see more and more packaging and displays with the FSC label wherever possible. But, in future, we will also need intelligent designs that intrinsically save resources. I believe companies need to find the answers to the sustainability challenges of the 21st century. We should not use more than our planet Earth provides – that is ultimately what the FSC stands for.