Natural solid wood provides the most durable, best performing, renewable and sustainably used material for casing of pencils. Pencils that are comfortable to use form in order to support your pencil expression; however, not all pencils are created equal when it comes to wise and sustainable use of Earth’s forest resources. Increasing worldwide competition has lead to greater concentration of manufacturing in countries with lower operating costs and often less stringent environmental regulatory standards. Forest management standards vary from country to country and from company to company. Enforcement of standards by governmental agencies can be lax in certain regions of the world. In China alone there are hundreds of pencil companies, slat producers, sawmills and government forest bureaus participating in the wood supply chain.

As a result an increasing number of industry participants are turning to the use of third-party certification agencies to audit supply chains from the forest through to finished product. Still even such certification regimes have differences in standards and inspection practices, and so there is often confusion over the environmental impact even for well informed consumers of pencils and other wood products. We at Pencils.com and our parent California Cedar Products Company feel a deep responsibility in our role as an industry leader in producing and marketing environmentally sound and safe products. Products that fully comply with regulatory requirements and social values associated with safety, environmental sustainability and international trade rules. As such we are committed to bringing a high level of transparency and integrity to our supply chain while providing a range of products for a broad set of needs. Where appropriate, we prefer to work with independent third-party certification agencies and have often been “first in” with respect to collaborating with third-party certification agencies to establish forest and chain of custody certification processes in the species and geographic regions in which we operate. Such was the case with FSC® certification (FSC-C010858) for both Incense-cedar and Basswood including the world’s first ever FSC pencil, our ForestChoice brand.

We are committed to accurate communication about the wood used in our pencils whether produced using our own Genuine Incense-cedar or Ecoslat products or not. Ultimately, the end consumer of any pencil or wooden product is making a choice whether based predominantly on price, on performance, on product safety concerns or knowing that the wood source is sustainably and soundly managed. We want that to be a well informed choice from a reliable source. Click here to learn about the wide range of forest certifications, wood related brand marks and relevant standards for the pencils we offer on Pencils.com. As a new feature of our website each of the pencils in our SHOP section have a tabs listing relevant certifications, product safety standards, country of origin, etc. applicable to that product with links back tot he detailed information page on those marks and standards. Be sure to look for these marks when you purchase pencils at retail as well. In “The Story of Pencils” you can also learn more about the basic principles of renewable resources, sustainable forestry and third-party forest certification.