What is Group Certification & Who Qualifies?

Group certification is a way for more than one business to be certified under a single FSC certificate. The certificate is held by one organization or person on behalf of the entire group.

If your business conducts less than $5 million in gross annual forest product sales, you can apply to be a member of one of American Green Consulting’s FSC Chain of Custody (CoC) group certifications.

How Group Certification Works

What we do

American Green Consulting handles everything associated with FSC CoC certification, and we lead the industry in group certifications.

As the group manager, American Green Consulting performs annual onsite reviews of each member to make sure that every member is conforming to FSC standards.

Certification bodies (CBs) then audit a sample of the group each year to ensure that American Green Consulting is reporting accurate information and helping group members comply with FSC regulations.

How you benefit

Unlike how CBs are required to operate, we don’t just tell you if you pass or fail. We help you maintain your systems and make sure you receive—and keep—your FSC certification.

In addition, group certification benefits you in the following ways:

  • An FSC group certification is often half the cost of an individual certification.
  • Group certification gives your company the same benefits as larger companies.
  • American Green Consulting’s internal reviews include assistance to help you comply with FSC standards.

How much does it cost?

Group certification is the best option for smaller companies because it’s designed to help reduce the overall costs of certification.

Each group member’s cost is significantly lower than if each member applied for an individual certificate. Depending on the scope of certification needed, group certification prices start at $2,395 for non-association related groups.

Have more questions about Group Certification? Check out our FAQ page!

Our Group Certificates

If you’re a qualifying organization, you can join one of the existing group certificates listed below. Each organization has chosen American Green Consulting to trust with their certificate management needs.

Each group has their own qualifications for joining, and are limited to companies based in the U.S. We’re happy to talk with you about which group would be the best fit for your company.

If you’re outside of the U.S., we maintain membership in the CoC Group Network and can help connect you with organizations worldwide.

Regional Affiliate Certificate Group (RACG)

RACG logo

Regional Affiliate Certificate Group (RACG) is for the printer and graphic arts industries, and it’s a program developed and offered by participating regional printing associations. (For further information, visit the RACG website.)

RACG has intimate knowledge of the print industry, which makes them a great choice for printers and those in the graphic arts industries.

If you’re a printer or part of the graphic arts industry and also a member of a participating trade association, you can qualify for group certification at $1,695 through RACG, a 30% discount over other group certifications.

If you do not qualify for group certification, membership in a participating association also gives you access to the RACG Large Printer Program for individual certification.

Small Business Certification Network (SBCN)

SBCN logo

Small Business Certification Network (SBCN) is specifically for wood products companies and non-print related paper companies.

For many small producers, effectively marketing FSC to consumers will be the deciding factor for staying in the certification system. That’s why one of our goals with SBCN is to help tackle this lack of consumer recognition of FSC by developing marketing resources for our members.

With that in mind, American Green Consulting created the Market Growth Tool Kit.

Every member of SBCN receives this tool kit and has access to print and digital ads, a customizable press release, rack cards, table tents, brochures, and pre-written social media posts and website copy to help them promote their FSC certification.

Fun fact: The SBCN was founded around our project for Etsy.

InGreen Certification Group (IGCG)

InGreen logo

InGreen Certification Group (IGCG) is for in-plant printers, public and private printers, and other graphic arts companies. IGCG is great for companies that don’t qualify for the discount program offered by RACG.

IGCG is the newest group certificate that we manage, and it’s home to many university and other public institution in-house printers, which is where it got its start.

Ready to take the next steps toward your group certification?

Contact us today.

If group certification isn’t right for your business, check out our multi-site and individual certifications.