ECOCERT is an organic certification body founded in France in 1991, which already today awards various organic labels for organic products in more than 110 countries around the world. Among other things, the organization carries out the certification of food, cosmetic products, detergents or cleaning agents. The Ecocert-Group has two own labels, one label for natural and organic cosmetics and the other for ecological detergents and cleaners.
The two labels are awarded by Ecocert Greenlife worldwide for organic products in both areas. The awarding of green solutions is based on certain principles.
The following criteria apply to the labels:
• Preference is given to using ingredients derived from organic farming and renewable resources (renewable raw materials).
• In the manufacture of the cosmetics also methods must be used that do not represent an environmental impact.
• The natural ingredients used are also evaluated for potential environmental toxicity and biodegradability.
• The consumer must have complete insight into the raw materials used, the manufacturing process and the eco-compatibility and biocompatibility of the ingredients.
ECOCERT still makes a distinction between synthetic and natural ingredients in the products of organic and natural cosmetics. However, synthetic ingredients made from coal or petroleum are not allowed to be used in organic cosmetics. However, synthetic preservatives from mineral sources such as benzyl alcohol or benzoic acid are allowed.
The natural ingredients come from mineral, marine, plant and animal sources. Animal ingredients may only be used if they are not part of the animal, if they are not from endangered species, if there is no herbal alternative and if they do not adversely affect the ecological balance. Animal experiments are prohibited and the production of animal ingredients must not be linked to the suffering or death of the animal.
There is also a distinction between organic and natural cosmetics. The proportion of synthetic ingredients in biocosmetics must not exceed five percent, with at least ten percent of the ingredients having to come from organic farming. Natural cosmetics require that at least five percent of the ingredients come from certified organic farming. Overall, they should at least 50 percent consist of ingredients that come from plant cultivation.
The same basic principles apply to successful certification of ecological detergents and cleaners as to cosmetics. In addition to protecting resources, protecting and informing consumers is also important. Furthermore, unnecessary waste and wastewater must be kept as low as possible during the production and use of the product.
The ECOCERT label for ecological detergents also distinguishes between synthetic and natural ingredients. As with natural and organic cosmetics, the ingredients must not originate from organisms that have been genetically modified. The same conditions apply to the use of animal ingredients. In the production of the vegetable ingredients, renewable raw materials are used.
There are also two certification levels for ecological detergents and cleaners. In the first certification stage, although the products have to consist of 95 percent natural ingredients. However, the proportion of ingredients from organic farming is not defined here. At the higher certification level, organic laundry detergents and cleaners also contain up to 95 percent natural ingredients, of which at least 10 percent must come from organic farming.