In 2015, FSC Belgium celebrated its 10th anniversary and currently counts three staff members in its Brussels office. They work with stakeholders across the three chambers, reaching a significant number to date. Currently, Belgium counts close to 300 FSC chain of custody certificate holders, with around 700 FSC certified company sites steadily growing within the wood, building, paper and packaging industry.
Roughly 20% of the raw timber products on Belgian market come from FSC certified forests. As Belgium is not a heavily forested country, most of its timber and paper products come from all corners of the world. FSC certified forests in Belgium are mostly found in the Flemish region, and through an initiative led by the Flemish forest administration, close to 15% of the forest cover there has achieved FSC forest certification.
The recognition of the FSC label has grown a lot in the recent decade from less than 5% in 2005 to 38% in 2014. Recent surveys with specific target groups show an even higher recognition: 60% with corporate purchasers and over 80% with architects. With the ambition to increase market recognition and uptake, next year, FSC Belgium will launch a three-year brand awareness campaign in collaboration with WWF Belgium.
A version of this article appeared originally in the January 2016 edition of Forest Matters.