Ecosystem Services

Highlight the value of your commitment to responsible forestry

Be recognised for your commitment to responsible forestry with ecosystem services claims from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). This pioneering solution empowers you to communicate how you’re making a measurable difference in the fight against some of the biggest challenges of our time, including climate change and biodiversity loss.

Amy Willox, Outreach Manager, Forests & Ecosystem Services
Cwmcarn forest (c) FSC UK_Robert Greenaway

Forest Ecosystem Services in the UK

The UK’s forests and woodlands provide a range of ecosystem services, from purifying water, maintaining soil health, and storing carbon, to providing recreation services. Both within the UK and globally, these services are essential to our health and wellbeing, and to the economy, with their value estimated at £3.3 billion for the UK in 2017 (ONS, 2020).

FSC Ecosystem Services Procedure

It’s easy to measure the economic value of forest products, but the other vital services provided by forests can be harder to quantify. The FSC ecosystem services procedure builds on FSC forest management certification by providing forest managers and owners with a framework for protecting these benefits and scientifically measuring the impacts of their efforts.

Impacts can be verified for the following ecosystem services:

Savernake forest (c) FSC UK_M.More
  • biodiversity conservation

  • storing carbon

  • purifying water

  • regenerating soil

  • providing recreation

How can you use ecosystem service claims?

  1. How can forest managers and owners use FSC ecosystem services claims?

    Once impacts are verified by an FSC-accredited certification body, ecosystem service claims help forest managers and owners to quantify the intangible value of their forest with third-party validation. This data can be shared with stakeholders, showing the real-world impact of their responsible forestry practices. It can also be used to attract investments, sponsors, and other rewards for maintaining services that are not recognised by traditional markets.

    We can support forest managers and owners by providing guidance on the process of verifying impacts, finding investors and sponsors, and exploring potential new market rewards.

    For more information, see our guidance document (available to download below), and the FSC International website.

  2. How can businesses use FSC ecosystem service claims?

    Ecosystem services claims from FSC enable organisations to financially sponsor responsible forestry projects, that make a real difference in the fight against climate change, biodiversity loss, and other global challenges.

    They can also be used by retailers and other companies to promote FSC 100% products from forests with verified ecosystem services impacts.

    In return, organisations receive third-party data verifying the positive impact of their investments and their contribution to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

    Process:  1.	Forest managers commit to protect or restore a vital service provided by their forest.  2.	Organisations/ businesses volunteer to sponsor forest managers. 3.	Your business receives verifiable evidence quantifying the impact of sponsorship. 4.	Share your verified impact data to show that you’re backing up your sustainability promises.

    For more information, see the FSC International website.

The French lottery company betting on biodiversity

Episode 1: Discovery


Emmanuel Ripout, Director of IP Forêt Services, explains the group's environmental approach and the implementation of the first French ecosystem services project.

Episode 2: Challenges


Elodie Vanhal, Sustainable Management Manager at IP Forêt Services, and Hélène Bay, Forest Technician at IP Forêt Services, explain the importance of preserving the benefits provided by the forest.

Episode 3: Financing


Christine Prouin, CSR Performance Manager at the Française Des Jeux lottery group, explains their motivation to support this 10-year project.

Ecosystems Services Procedure and Guidance

Ecosystem Services Procedure: Impact Demonstration and Market Tools (FSC-PRO-30-006 EN V1-2)
PDF, Size: 1.03MB
Guidance for Demonstrating Ecosystem Services Impacts (FSC-GUI-30-006 V1-1)
PDF, Size: 3.36MB