Technical Updates

Wednesday, 02 October 2019
New Pesticides Policy

 (© FSC GD / Milan Reška)© FSC GD / Milan Reška

October 2, 2019

The purpose of FSC’s pesticides policy is threefold:

  • Eliminate the use of the most hazardous chemical pesticides.
  • Promote best practices to minimize associated risks to human health and the environment when using chemical pesticides.
  • Reduce the overall volume and number of chemical pesticides in use.

The policy was recently updated and now incorporates a risk-based approach to help establish what kinds of limitations of or mitigation for use is expected from certificate holders using chemical pesticides.

The level of risk from a particular chemical pesticide is considered to be a combination of the toxicity of that pesticide to the environment and humans, along with their exposure (frequency, application method, etc.).

Risk Assessments Now Required
The revised policy requires that certificate holders develop an Environmental and Social Risk Assessment (ESRA) for each chemical pesticide they use. Once the new International Generic Indicators (IGIs) for Highly Hazardous Pesticides are available, certificate holders will have to incorporate those IGIs into their ESRA. The deadlines for implementing requirements in the revised Pesticides Policy are available on the FSC US Pesticides web page. FSC International has recently confirmed the working group that will be developing the IGIs and more information is available from the web page for that process.

There are a number of ongoing processes globally that will help to provide resources for certificate holders who are working to conform with the revised Pesticides Policy. We will share information with certificate holders about new resources as they become available. Additionally, FSC US is exploring ways to support certificate holders with the ESRA requirements.

US-based certificate holders with questions about the Pesticides Policy should contact Justin Meier,