San Diego, Calif.—The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) suspended DuChateau's trademark license agreement, as well as that of its supplier, due to incompliant use of FSC claims and trademarks, promoting and selling wood flooring as FSC-certified.

The FSC’s accreditation body, Accreditation Services International (ASI), concluded that the San Diego-based flooring importer, as well as one of its Chinese suppliers, have engaged in the incompliant claims, and as consequence, on May 21, 2018, FSC suspended DuChateau's trademark license agreement, and the move also triggered the suspension of both companies' Chain of Custody (CoC) certificates, according to the Sierra Club. The suspension will be in effect for at least 12 months, during which time DuChateau must cease using the FSC trademarks on its website and promotional materials, as well as remove FSC labels from product packaging, retail merchandising and samples.

Duchateau responded to Floor Trends regarding these claims:

“On Monday, May 21, 2018, Duchateau received notification from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) of the suspension of our FSC license and that of one of our vendors for a period of 12 months.

“We were recently notified of an incompliance with one of FSC's many regulations, which led to the suspension. This occurred in the fourth quarter of 2017 when we were informed by our vendor that material previously sold to us as FSC-certified was not in fact certified. At no time did Duchateau knowingly misrepresent FSC products or materials.

“Prior to this suspension, Duchateau had been in compliance with FSC regulations for eight years. After we were made aware, we moved immediately to make the appropriate adjustments in our records and inventory to ensure we are not misrepresenting any of our products or materials as FSC-certified.

“As part of our mission, DuChateau is committed to utilizing and producing environmentally sustainable materials and we value our long-standing association with FSC. We will continue to support these sustainable practices during our suspension.

“We will be working with the FSC and our vendors in an effort to achieve full compliance as soon as possible, with a track record that supports our reinstatement when the suspension expires in May of 2019.”

The complaint was brought by Sierra Club’s Forest Certification & Green Building Team, which represents the Club at the FSC.

“False claims strike at the heart of forest certification: the assurance to the buyer that their purchase of certified forest products truly supports responsible forestry,“ said Forest Certification Team Chair Caroline Pufalt. “With this action, FSC has shown that it has the will and the capacity to combat fraud and preserve the integrity and credibility of certification.”

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