This study explores for the first time the attitudes and motivation associated with forest certification among forest industry companies in northwestern Russia. Interviews were carried out in the form of a structured questionnaire including 35 forest industry companies operating in northwestern Russia. Although development of certification in individual companies was initiated by general market demand, representatives of certified companies also emphasized the importance of internal corporate policy. Certified and noncertified groups of respondents identified market demand as a main driving force influencing development of forest certification. Ensuring the legality of wood origin, company's image and competitiveness of wood products were recognized as the most important benefits associated with forest certification. Absence of mandatory requirements from authorities and customers appeared to be the largest obstacle among both groups of respondents. Representatives of noncertified companies pointed out economic inaccessibility and low level of preparedness of management as of high importance, which is mainly associated with absence of quality management system. The results of the study indicated a general positive attitude on forest certification; it was noticed that respondents have gaps in understanding the principles and limited awareness with regards to forest certification, especially among noncertified forest industry companies.