In 1951, the owners of a small sawmill in São Paulo, Brazil became the first company to envision a use for the thousands of acres of eucalyptus native to that area. They began to use eucalyptus as the raw material for making ceiling tiles and panels, and Eucatex was born. Before their first decade in business had passed they had expanded into several Brazilian capitals as well as Argentina.
It was not long after that before they expanded into Europe, the USA and Mexico. By the 1960’s, however, as they began to expand both their product lines and their markets, they also began to understand the finite nature of even the most abundant of natural resources. To that end, they began purchasing land in the 70’s which they began to reforest to ensure continued access to what was rapidly becoming an invaluable resource. To this day, Eucatex participates on forestry partnership and leasing to continue to maintain Brazil’s abundant eucalyptus forests.
In 1996, a young 34 year-old by the name of Flavio Maluf was asked by his uncle, who was was the President of Eucatex at the time, to take on an Executive position. Flavio had been with the company for nearly a decade, and less than two years later, by agreement of both the family and the board, he was asked to take over as president of the company. He agreed.
Since then, Eucatex has experienced phenomenal growth and emerged as an industry leader in many arenas. All four of Eucatex’s factories remain in Brazil, where Maluf has instituted an almost unheard of number of policies and practices geared towards corporate transparency and preservation and conservation of Brazil’s natural resources. Eucatex has partnered with many of their suppliers to devise innovative ways of reusing and recycling everything from shipping pallets to paint buckets. They have come up with innovative ways of using wood residue to generate energy and instituted an ethics channel to encourage employees to anonymously report ethics violations or any practices that violate Eucatex’s ethical principles.
As an active philanthropist and generous donor, Mr. Maluf has receive numerous awards and recognitions, but his most tireless work is in the area of Environmental Protection and Responsibility. For 15 years now, Eucatex has operated the House of Nature, which has received more than 22,000 visitors since its inception. At the House of Nature, both students and educators learn about Brazil’s natural ecosystem and how the local flora and fauna works together to sustain it. Students are also taught to protect and care for the resources that will sustain them and hopefully many generations to come.