• SOUJI, Winner of the European Business Awards for the Environment for Micro-enterprises
Tuesday, 10 November, 2020
IQS Tech Transfer


Recently, the 2019-2020 edition of the Spanish section of the European Business Awards for the Environment (EBAE) was held, sponsored by the Ministry for Ecological Transition and Demographic Issues.

This year, 25 ambitious projects were awarded in the field of management or to companies that prioritise environmental preservation as their main added value, thus contributing to sustainable development and a sustainable economy.

The company SOUJI was the winner of the award for the best micro-enterprise in the second category of the aforementioned awards, the product and services award in concrete. The company was recognized for its contribution of an innovative and rather simple solution to reuse domestic oil in homes by transforming it into soap in a safe manner for consumers, without the need for caustic soda in the process. This process helps prevent the generation of waste that causes a large environmental impact.

"It's truly an honour to have received this award. It means a lot to us and it gives us the drive to continue working hard and improving," say Catalina Trujillo and Sergio Fernández, co-founders of SOUJI.



The SOUJI project was founded thanks to an idea from Sergio Fernández, an environmental engineer and the company's CEO, in collaboration with the IQS Formulations Laboratory, coordinated and directed by Dr Alberto Balfagón, a professor and researcher at the university. This collaboration gave rise to the product that won the award: making soap from oil (saponification)  through an environmentally friendly process – at room temperature and without using caustic soda or electricity – in a simple, ready-to-use preparation at home.

In the words of Dr Balfagón, “For IQS, and for me as the head of the Formulations Laboratory, this recognition of the product developed in our laboratory, based on Sergio Fernández's initial idea, is a great encouragement to continue our research work and collaboration with the most innovative industrial sector in the country." All the materials used in the process – the recycled cardboard container, lid, and internal plastic material – are 100% recyclable and biodegradable, meaning that the entire product is designed to be environmentally friendly and minimize its impact on the ecosystem to the greatest extent possible.

Despite having only been on the market for two years, the system holds certifications from the Spanish Institute of Toxicology as a non-polluting and highly biodegradable product for the marine environment, as well as certifications audited by STANPA, LEITAT, and APPLUS+, which certifies that its compound complies with European Community environmental regulations. It has also been audited by the US organization PETA Cruelty-free as an ethically responsible product, as none of the compounds or processes have been tested on animals.