How Rodrigo Terpins Went From Race Car Driver To Environmentalist
Rodrigo Terpins is a household name in the Brazilian rally car racing world. It’s no surprise why; one of his most recent efforts in the field say him come eighth overall in the 22nd Sertões Rally in a car that many had doubts about. Despite this, he completed the first leg of the 2,600km, seven city circuit in about two hours. While he didn’t end up coming first in the race, he came in third in his division and eighth overall among close to forty competitors.
Despite all of his accomplishments, however, Rodrigo Terpins hasn’t just been focusing on his driving career over the past decade. In 2009 he set up Floresvale with the aim of developing a more sustainable and renewable timber source in Brazil. He got this idea when he found out that the majority of timber produced in Brazil isn’t certified and thus isn’t sourced from ethical farms. Because of that, he and a few of his partners decided to do something about it. When it was initially founded, Floresvale focused on creating timber for the sawmills in Paraíba Valley and mainly grew eucalyptus forests.
The Paraíba Valley is right in the middle of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, the two biggest cities in the country. Because of that, the Valley uses up more timber than many other areas in the country. Rodrigo Terpins has seen the company grow to operate in São Luiz do Paraitinga, Queluz, Monteiro Lobato, Silveiras and Taubaté. Across the entire area, Floresvale manages 5,000 hectares of forest. Out of this, almost half is dedicated to preserving forest life; according to the company, 2,400 hectares have been specifically allocated to permanent preservation, native woods, and legal reserve areas.
It currently stands as the leading source of timber in the Paraíba Valley, either certified and uncertified. Through its long-term vision, Floresvale is not only trying to help the environment with their permanent reserves and sustainable forests, but it’s also creating long-lasting jobs in the industry. It currently boasts a workforce of close to 100 people to take care of the entire forests as well as other aspects of the timber trade.