Natural or Bio-based

Natural or bio-based

Sustainability Characteristic Definition
This sustainability characteristic seeks to provide customers with important information regarding the feedstocks used to create each product. To be considered natural or bio-based, a product must comprise at least 50% natural ingredients, or at least 50% bio-based feedstocks by mass.

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Natural or Bio-Based

Sustainable Characteristic Definition

This sustainability characteristic seeks to provide customers with important information regarding the feedstocks used to create each product. To be considered natural or bio-based, a product must comprise at least 50% natural ingredients, or at least 50% bio-based feedstocks by mass.

A macro shot of water droplets on a leafA macro shot of water droplets on a leaf

This threshold is based on ISO 16128:1-2016 Section 3 “Derived natural ingredients” which specifies that a derived natural product must be of greater than 50% natural origin. Please note that here, “natural” does not refer to specific regulatory language such as that defined by TSCA or REACH.

Natural or Bio-based products have documentation to support their composition. Listed below are a few examples, and this list will continue to grow as data is received.

  • A statement on company letterhead that >50% of the product is from specified natural ingredients, or that >50% of the specified feedstock in the product is bio-based.

  • A Technical Data Sheet, Safety Data Sheet, or Product Data Sheet

  • A Life Cycle Analysis (LCA)

  • An ingredient list, provided that all ingredients can easily be identified as natural, or easily identified as bio-based.

Natural Products

  • A statement of Naturality indicating the natural feedstock and providing a Natural Index and/or Organic Index of > 0.5 per ISO 16128:2-2017 excluding formation water per section 5.1.3
  • A statement recognizing the product as “Natural” according to the American Association of Feed Control Officials
  • A statement recognizing the product as “Natural” according to TSCA or REACH, provided that the product is not a fossil material

Bio-based Products

  • A BioPreferred Technical Data Sheet specifying Bio-Carbon content >50% and bio-based feedstock
  • A Technical Data Sheet specifying the bio-based feedstock and a renewable carbon content of >50% by C14 analysis, or renewable carbon index
  • An ISCC PLUS Bio Material or Bio-Circular Material Certificate indicating >50% bio-based content
  • An ASTM D6866 report indicating >50% bio-based content

Provided that all ingredients are of organic chemical structure, the following documentation is acceptable:

    • A statement of naturality specifying a bio-based feedstock and a Natural Index (NI) and/or Natural Origin Index (NOI), Organic Index, or Organic Origin Index > 0.5 per ISO 16128:2-2017
    • EcoCert Natural and Organic Cosmetics certification
    • An informational letter giving the product’s total carbon content, and biogenic carbon in product
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A view of mountains at sunsetA view of mountains at sunset

The following certifications or statuses meet or exceed the requirements for “Natural or Bio-based" characterization:

  • COSMOS Organic Certification

  • COSMOS Certified raw materials (organic content)

  • ISCC+ > 50% Bio-Attributed Bio Material

  • ISCC+ > 50% Bio-Attributed Bio-circular Material

  • Certain USDA BioPreferred Product Certifications – in some cases more information may be required.

  • EcoCert Natural and Organic Cosmetics is acceptable in cases of organic materials and requires more information for materials with mineral ingredients.

  • EcoCert Natural Cosmetics is acceptable in cases of organic materials and requires more information for materials with mineral ingredients.

  • EU Organic certification (based on Regulation (EU) 2018/848)

Note that some of these certifications are specific to end uses, and that they may be directly or indirectly relevant to our customers’ specific end uses.

Natural Products

Natural products contain greater than 50% natural ingredients[1] by mass, where “natural ingredients” are defined by ISO 16128:1-2016. 

Natural ingredients may include plants, fungi, animals, microbes, or minerals, and are only processed using physical processing such as grinding, drying, centrifuging, distillation, and extraction using solvents, and fermentation reactions that occur in nature and lead to naturally-occurring molecules. Natural ingredients are not genetically modified. 

Evidence of naturality should include the natural material feedstock and the Natural Index and/or natural content by mass. If natural content can only be estimated in a range, then the minimum natural content should be given. Natural content should be calculated on a basis of dry mass, mass without added water, or mass without formulation water as defined by ISO 16128:1-2016 section 2.4. The calculation for a Natural Index excluding formulation water is given in section 5.1.3 of ISO 16128:2-2017.

[1] Here it is assumed that individual ingredients do not chemically react with one another in a product.

Bio-based Products

Bio-based products are derived from >50% bio-based feedstocks such as plants, fungi, animals, and microbes. Bio-based ingredients can be chemically processed or genetically modified, while natural ingredients cannot. For this reason, the supplier should provide documentation which makes it clear if the product is natural, bio-based, or both.

Evidence of bio-based characterization should include the biological feedstock and the bio-based content by mass. If bio-based content can only be estimated in a range, then the minimum bio-based content should be given. The supplier should specify whether the bio-based content is being calculated on a total mass basis, a dry mass basis, or mass without added water. 

Flowchart to determine if a product is Natural for Suppliers

Flowchart to determine if a product is Bio-based for Suppliers

Sustainability adds value and makes business sense.

By leveraging our strong portfolio of sustainable products, services, practices and technologies to aid customers and consumers in meeting their sustainability goals, we demonstrate our commitment to sustainability and vision for a better world.

Sustainability makes good business sense and aligns with our core values of being serious about safety, a place where people matter, a company that's valuable to others and does what they say so that together, we win. Combined, these sustainability principles illustrate how through common goals, we can work toward a better tomorrow through next-generation solutions.

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NOTICE: All product information is provided in good faith and is believed to be accurate as of the date of publication based on information received from the supplier and secondary databases.  However, Univar Solutions is not able to verify whether third-party data is accurate, complete, and up-to-date and assumes no responsibility, obligation, or liability for the information provided.  NO GUARANTEES OR WARRANTIES ARE GIVEN AND ALL IMPLIED WARRANTIES, SUCH AS THOSE OF MERCHANTABILTIY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, ARE EXPRESSLY EXCLUDED. Customer is solely responsible for determining whether products and/or the information provided are appropriate for Customer’s use, and Customer assumes all risk and liability in acting on the information provided.
 
Our Suppliers also sign our Supplier Code of Conduct so you can be assured that we are working throughout our supply chain to transparently create our Sustainable & Natural Products Portfolio.