Driving Meaningful Change

Our sustainable development impact

United Nations SDGs

We are a new
kind of company

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were created by the United Nations to focus the time, energy and attention of organizations around the world on 17 key issues. World Tree seeks to impact 7 of these SDGs.

Paul Hawken, a leader in the environmental movement, points out that human beings have successfully monetized the destruction of mother earth. It’s time to reverse that trend. We are part of a movement, conscious capitalism, which believes that financial incentives can be used as a powerful force for good. Focus on profits alone will create the kind of world envisioned by the United Nations. Yet, when profits are aligned with right action, regeneration and collaboration, we can make a real impact.

Regenerative economics

Farming is where the heart and soul of World Tree lives. Serving, supporting and empowering farmers is our prime directive.

Did you know that 56% of US farmers lost money last year? Land rich yet cash poor, farming communities are struggling to deal with the impact of climate change on their crops and their profits. In Latin America, droughts caused by global warming are causing a dramatic reduction in coffee production.

World Tree’s programs provide generous economic incentives to farmers. The Eco-Tree Program gives trees to farmers for free, trains them to be growers and we share profits 50-50. That represents significant new income to farmers and a positive impact on their communities.

We are a female founded enterprise

World Tree was founded by Wendy Burton. Our company includes women at every level – from on the ground visiting farmers, to senior management to board members.

Female founded companies are typically under-capitalized compared to their male counterparts. Not so with World Tree. In 2020, World Tree became the third most highly funded company on WeFunder – the largest equity crowdfunding platform in the United States. We are the most successful female founded company ever on Wefunder.

Creating jobs for farmers in 5 countries

In rural communities, farming is where the work is. World Tree’s programs provide new revenues to farmers and creates new jobs. One of our farmers in Guatemala estimates that every 4 acres planted creates one new job in their community.

World Tree is implementing verification programs to measure our impact in communities especially in the area of job creation.

Providing a sustainable
source of timber

The United Nations predicts that global consumption of wood will  more than double by 2050. Wood is a beautiful, natural resource that we all use in our daily lives. Yet, it can come at a cost. Deforestation is happening at a rate of 10 million hectares per year, destroying our forests, depleting our soils and diminishing our ability to deal with climate change.

What does it look like to meet the demand for wood responsibly? It starts with distinguishing between a forest and a crop. At World Tree we grow trees as a crop – for the purposes of timber production – not for reforestation.

The Empress tree has a built-in super-power: the ability to regenerate. The Empress tree regrows from the stump after harvest – which means you can grow up to 7 generations of trees without replanting.

Drawing down CO2
to reverse global warming

The biggest contributor to global warming is carbon dioxide (CO2). Carbon pollution is an invisible enemy, causing a global rise in temperatures.

Nature has provided us with a simple solution to cleaning the air: carbon drawdown. Plants and trees draw carbon from the air via photosynthesis. They use carbon as the building blocks of life.

A positive impact on carbon drawdown

The Empress tree uses a particularly powerful form of photosynthesis, which fuels its fast growth rate. One acre of Empress trees absorbs 34 – 54 tons of carbon a year – or more. That’s about the same amount of carbon an average American family of four emits in a year.

Replenishing soil and supporting pollinators

The large leaves of the Empress tree don’t just absorb carbon – they also fix nitrogen from the air. This unusual property of the tree is what makes it especially potent for us in land restoration projects. When the nitrogen-rich leaves fall to the ground in winter, they provide a natural fertilizer to the soil. We have witnessed soil transform over a matter of years in areas where Empress trees are planted.

The trees also have pink, nectar rich flowers with a vanilla-jasmine scent. The flowers are highly attractive to pollinators such as honeybees. One acre of tree will support bees to produce over 100 jars of honey a year.

Uniting investors
and farmers

World Tree has developed a truly collaborative business model that unites investors and farmers. We work with the full spectrum of investors – from large institutions looking for impactful new opportunities to the everyday Joe who is wants to align his finances with his values. We work with small and large farmers in countries across United States and Latin America.

Together, this network of farmers, investors, foresters, scientists and business partners is changing the world.