Winter 2008 Newsletter Shades of Green: Defining "Natural" and "Organic"

Can you reformulate my product to be "natural"?

How can we find "organic" alternative ingredients?

What is green?

The formulators at Chemir are often asked to reformulate products to establish claims of "green", specifically "natural" or "organic".

What does Green Mean?

In the absence of clear-cut industry standards we turn to these resources to define the green concepts of natural and organic (Note: this is a partial list of available certifying bodies):

Natural Ingredients Resource Center (NIRC)

Natural Product Association (NPA)

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

National Organic Program (NOP)



In the absence of universally accepted industry standards, Chemir's formulators have defined the concepts of "natural" and "organic" as shades of green. As consumers demand greener products, formulators will need to navigate the spectrum of organic and natural definitions.

What is "Natural"?

From the Natural Ingredients Resource Center (NIRC) and Natural Product Association (NPA) we have arrived at the following definition.



View reformulation of a face cream

What is "Organic"?

The term "certified organic" is defined by the USDA for foods, but not home, health and beauty products. The NOP (National Organic Program) standards for agricultural production and labeling may be used as a guide, but no formal program for "certified organic" regarding home, health and beauty products has been published by the U.S. government.

View reformulation of a shampoo

Websites for ECO Certification, Labeling, and Recognition

Here are some third-party organizations that can help determine what claims can be made about a product being "natural", "organic", or "green".

DfE from the US EPA
Green Seal
Green Guard
NSF International
MBCD Certification