Given the large number of stakeholders involving themselves in the “politics” of forest certification, sustainable forestry and forest and environmental conservation there are a wide range of opinions about the relevant strength and environmental benefits of different certification programs. Pencils.com is devoted to providing relevant forest management information and further resource links for the various products offered on our site so that consumers can make their independent judgment on such issues. We continually strive to increase the level of certified products offered within our own company brands and with new products we add to the site. Here are the main certification and brand marks associated with pencils currently on the site or anticipated to be added in the coming months.
Manufacturer Certifications and Wood Brands
Look for the Genuine Incense-cedar mark to be certain the pencils you are purchasing are made from real Incense-cedar, a superior performing and sustainably managed resource from the forests of California and Oregon. The Cedarmark was established in 1992 by the Incense-cedar Institute (ICI), a trade association made up of a group of California-based producers dedicated to promoting cedar, to educating consumers on sound forest management practices and to providing reliable, well-managed wood species to the pencil industry. Today the original ICI member companies have merged into California Cedar Products Company (CCPC) and the Genuine Incense-cedar mark, a registered trademark of CCPC, is available under license to CalCedar’s slat customers for use on packaging and promotion of those pencils they produce which exclusively use Incense-cedar. The Genuine Cedarmark may be reinforced at times with additionalindependent third-party certification programs as appropriate for customer needs.
Ecoslat, a registered trademark of California Cedar Products Company (CCPC), is used for wooden pencil slats produced from alternate wood species. Currently the Ecoslat brand indicates that pencils are being made from Basswood (a.k.a. Linden wood) supplied from forests located in northern China or the Russian Far east. The Ecoslat brand represents that the wood used is technically sound for producing good quality pencils and that CCPC has taken considerable care to investigate and ensure a reliable wood supply that meets accepted sustainability standards. The Ecoslat product may be reinforced at times with additional independent third-party certification programs as appropriate for customer needs. Additional alternate woods are regularly evaluated for inclusion within the Ecoslat brand certification program as supplemental “species types”. Pencils produced from Basswood and other alternative species that lack the Ecoslat mark may have a greater degree of uncertainty as to the ultimate sustainability and legality of wood harvested for use in such pencils.
Third-Party Forest Certification Marks
The Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®(FSC-C010858)) is an international not for profit NGO that has broad worldwide support and claims to be the only system that has earned the endorsement of major environmental organizations, including World Wildlife Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council, The Wilderness Society, and Rainforest Alliance. The FSC has been successful in promoting environmentally safe, socially beneficial, and economically viable management of the world’s forests. FSC certified wood must meet FSC’s established rules and standards for forest management and chain of custody that are independently verified by third-party certification agencies.
The FSC certification program allows for several “product group” claims which share raw material input and finished product output characteristics. FSC 100% indicates that 100% of the wood utilized in the finished product is certified to come from FSC certified forests. FSC Mixed Sources or FSC Mix allows wood from FSC certified forests to be blended with non-certified wood providing that all of the non-FSC wood meets the standards for “Controlled Wood”. Controlled wood must be independently verified before it is permitted to be utilized within the Mix certification standard. Mixed sources are often used due to insufficient supply levels in certain species or regions from FSC certified forests to support 100% certification. Also, different producers and marketers of FSC certified products will have different certification numbers printed on their respective certification labels.