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This Tree Packs A Punch For Investors In Fight To Reverse Climate Change
Wendy Burton has been planting Empress Splendor trees for about two decades. With help from crowdfunded investors from Wefunder, along with accredited investors participating in a Regulation D 506(c) offering, her company, World Tree, will plant thousands of these carbon sucking trees across the western hemisphere.
She says the tree is the fastest-growing hardwood tree on the planet. While it grows in a range of climates, its method of reproduction limits its threat as an invasive species. Because the tree grows so quickly, it sequesters more carbon than other trees.
Investors typically buy an acre’s worth of trees—110 trees—but rather than receive the revenue from a particular acre of trees, investors get a pro-rata share of all the trees planted in the current year’s crop when harvested in ten years. Farmers who plant and care for the trees receive half the revenue; investors and World Tree split the other half of the revenue.
The first harvest, she says, could produce a financial return of nine to ten times the initial investment. The Wefunder campaign raised almost $1 million; the investment proceeds from the Reg D offering are larger.
Preliminary Interview with Wendy Burton, the Founder/CEO of World Tree.
The following is a brief pre-interview that provides context for the recorded interview you may watch or listen to at the top of this article.
Wendy Burton is a Founder/CEO for World Tree.
Crowdfunding page: wefunder.com/worldtree
What is the purpose of your crowdfunding campaign?
World Tree’s programs are based on the fastest growing tree in the world: The Empress Splendor. When you invest in the Empress, you are investing in plantations of eco-timber across North and Central America. You are supporting farmers and protecting our forests, and get to share in any profits from the sale of the lumber.
We project long term potential to be high, as the United Nations predicts that demand for timber will double by 2050. Most trees take 20 to 50 years to reach maturity. Empress trees reach hardwood maturity within 10 years and regenerate a new tree after they have been harvested. This means we can keep up with the demand for timber without sacrificing our forests.
More about World Tree:
World Tree is a female-led eco-timber company whose flagship product is the amazing Empress Splendor, the fastest-growing hardwood tree in the world. And it’s starting to get widespread attention as a for-profit, for-good solution to climate change. World Tree is going beyond sustainability, instead playing the game of regeneration.
With an innovative business model, World Tree’s founder, Wendy Burton, is seeing a longtime dream realized and has established a women-led, for-profit-for-good business in a male-dominated industry.
How does it work? World Tree supplies free trees to farmers, supports and mentors them during the growing process, and then splits the revenue from the first harvest, with half going to the farmer and half to World Tree and its investors—after which, the farmers own the trees outright. (Oh, and the trees grow back from the stumps, mature in 7-10 years, and will cycle through that process up to 7 times.)
This spring, the company raised more than $1 million via the crowdfunding site WeFunder.
(for more info, see itstimeformoxie.com/world-tree-press-page)
For-profit or Nonprofit: For-profit
Wendy Burton. Photo credit: Deb Beroset
Wendy Burton’s bio:
Founder and CEO of World Tree, Wendy is unabashed in her commitment to the three P’s: Planet, People and Profit. Otherwise known as “The Tree Lady” Wendy has spent the last 17 years promoting the economic and environmental benefits of the Empress Splendor Tree.
Wendy, a self-confessed tree-hugger, is living proof that it is possible to combine business savvy with a passion for improving the environment. She believes that everyone can make a difference and that one of the most powerful ways to do that is through investing. The World Tree Carbon Offset Program makes it possible for people to use their investment dollars to both clean up the air and generate wealth though the planting of the Empress Splendor Tree.
The Empress Splendor, recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records as “officially amazing”, is the fastest growing hardwood tree in the world. It reaches maturity in just 10 years when it can be harvested for lumber. It also sequesters 11 TIMES more carbon than any other tree, making it a highly effective in reducing carbon in the atmosphere.
Wendy has appeared on Oprah, the Connie Sellaca show and Morley Safer’s American Environmental Review.
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