An objective for the FFCS Forest Certification System is to develop a system that complies with the international requirements set for certification, and if desired the system must conform to the minimum requirements of international forest certification systems.
The basis on which the system was built included the Forest Principles approved at the United Nation's Conference on Environment and Sustainable Development (UNCED, Rio de Janeiro 1992), the resolutions of the Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe (Helsinki 1993), and the Pan European Criteria and Indicators for the Sustainable Forest Management of European Forests. In addition the environmental management system standards of the International Standardization Organization (ISO 14001) and the European union (EMAS) were taken into consideration.
Product labels linked with international forest certification systems are used in wood and paper product markets. The FFCS System does not include its own product label, but the system is planned so that an international label can be used if the Finnish system is endorsed by one or several international labelling schemes.
The majority of the wood products are exported which increases the significance of internationally recognised product labelling. Certain customer groups demand evidence on the sustainable management of forests and forest ecosystems. A product label linked with credible forest certification can demonstrate that forest management conforms with the set criteria. The product labelling requires that a company has a certified chain of custody control system.