SGS is one of the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company and has been operating in India since 1950. We spoke to Teena Antil, SGS India’s Certification and Business Enhancement Lead Auditor, on how she witnesses certification and FSC grow over the years.
1. How is FSC related to your work?
I am working with SGS India Pvt. Ltd. in the capacity of Product Manager and Lead Auditor for Forestry Certification Schemes. I am associated with FSC® Certification since 2009 when I started my career with GICIA (Affiliated by SCS Global Services). I have worked as a Technical Expert and Business Development Manager for FSC and other schemes and has seen the growth of FSC Certification in India.
In the past decade, there has been a great increase in the usage of certifications in India, especially for third-party certifiers. Companies and products that have been certified by independent third-party organizations can give consumers assurance on what they have purchased, knowing that certifications mean credibility and transparency. Third party certifiers can be extremely helpful to companies as well. Third-party certifiers serve as motivators or advisors, showing companies what they need to change about their practices to be certified. Essentially, third-party certification can act as a “filter” for innovation, providing guidelines for what new products must follow before being put into use.
The reality is that promoting the value of certification is a two-way street: the certification body and the business selling certified products should educate end users about what the mark stands for. The most powerful impact comes when both the issuers and the bearers of the certification promote it collectively. I always appreciate the efforts put by FSC and associated NGOs in creating the awareness to end consumers for the sustainable products.
2. From your observation, how has the demand on FSC-certified material and FSC certification grown over the years? Particularly in what industries?
When I started working, there were only a few companies in India who were FSC Certified. Today, there are more than 700 companies.
Over time, FSC has emerged as the most well-documented sustainability certification program. In India, many other forestry certification schemes exist. However, FSC is the most trusted industry leader. Nonetheless, the FSC offers a model to its competitors in the forestry sector, and also to other sectors. FSC has become an industry benchmark.
In the past year, FSC has undertaken a series of important steps to ensure the integrity of its Bamboo and Charcoal supply chain. The engagement of FSC and ASI to ensure the compliance of FSC Material in the supply chain has improved the business practices.
The demand for FSC certified material in India was driven by the mainstream buyers. It started with the paper industry and has grown into other wood-based products, for example, sawmills, printers, furniture, handicraft items, and more.
Demand for the FSC material has drastically increased in India after the mandate compliance of EUTR regulations and the acceptance of FSC material in the overseas market after the addition of DDS. FSC labelled products ensure buyers that these products are coming from responsibly managed forests. We have also seen that FSC Certification improves the certificate holder’s Quality Management and Material Accounting Systems.
3. Can you give us a sneak peek on what you’re going to share for your presentation?
I believe that the best way to keep forests standing is by ensuring that it is profitable for businesses and communities to do so. That means helping farmers and forest managers to realize greater economic benefits by ensuring ecosystems and people are well protected and respected.
In my presentation, I want to share the information about how a certificate holder can get the information about the raw material available and how they can verify the detail about the scope and validity of suppliers.
I also would like to share how FSC Certification can be marketed in India in the following sectors, which are Stationery Products, Rubbers Products (natural rubber-based), Sports Goods and Wooden Cosmetic Products.
Meet Teena and other speakers in our FSC APAC Business Forum on 25-26 Sept 2018.
Registration for local applicants will be closed on 18 Sept(Tue). Don’t miss out on this opportunity if you are FSC Certificate Holders or Commercial Trademark Service Licensees!