The objective of this study is to prepare a bio-based and light-weight electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding material in the range of 8–12 GHz. Organic castor oil-based polyurethane (PU) foam was synthesized by the mechanical stirrer mixing process, whereas absorption and hydrothermal reduction processes have been used to reinforce the multi-walled carbon nanotube (MWCNT), cupric oxide (CuO) and bamboo charcoal (BC) nanoparticles in the organic PU foam. The EMI shielding properties of the PU foam composite were tested using a vector analyzer test setup. Identification of the structural property of the nanocomposite was analyzed using field-emission scanning electron microscopy images. The density of the organic PU foam composite reinforced with nanoparticles was calculated with the help of mass and volume. Response surface methodology has been used to systematically design and analyze the experiments of EMI shielding effectiveness (EMI SE) and the physical properties of the reinforced foam. Using the EMI SE experimental results, mathematical models were developed to forecast the results and validate them with error estimation. An optimization study has revealed that 0.75 wt.% of MWCNT, 1.5 wt.% of CuO, and 1.5 wt.% of BC are the optimum parameters with 0.063750 g/cm3 density for obtaining the maximum EMI SE. © 2021, The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society.