Climate Change Heroes: “Mother Nature gave us the solution to address climate change; The most carbon-reducing solution known to man comes from trees, not a man-made product” with Wendy Burton CEO of World Tree

Penny Bauder
Jan 24 · 6 min read

Mother Nature gave us the solution to address climate change. The most carbon-reducing solution known to man comes from trees, not a man-made product. The Empress Tree is a carbon “sucker” that takes more carbon out of the atmosphere than any other tree. Leaves are the lungs of our planet. At World Tree, we want to help restore the lungs of Mother Earth.


had the pleasure to interview Wendy Burton, Founder, and CEO of World Tree. Wendy is unabashed in her commitment to the three P’s: Planet, People, and Profit. 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 Eco-Tree Program makes it possible for people to use their investment dollars to both clean up the air and generate wealth through the planting of the Empress tree. Wendy has appeared on Oprah, the Connie Sellaca show, Smart TV and Morley Safer’s American Environmental Review.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

have always loved trees. When I was a little girl, the trees were my playmates. One day, I got introduced to an amazing tree — and I fell madly in love with its beauty. When I learned more about it, I experienced an “aha” moment: I knew I would introduce this tree and its amazing capabilities on a global scale.

What is the mission of your company? What problems are you aiming to solve?

The mission of World Tree is people love and honor each other and Mother Earth.

There is a tri-fold issue World Tree aims to address:

  • To do our best to reverse the damage caused by climate change
  • To stop the destruction of beautiful old-growth hardwood “Grandma Tree” forests, and move towards plantation-based timber for our lumber needs
  • To create wealth for individuals and their families so they can not only put their money where their heart is but support World Tree’s efforts to create wealth for farmers who have lovingly put food on our tables while they have starved.

Can you tell our readers about the initiatives that you or your company are taking to address climate change or sustainability? Can you give an example for each?

Mother Nature gave us the solution to address climate change. The most carbon-reducing solution known to man comes from trees, not a man-made product. The Empress Tree is a carbon “sucker” that takes more carbon out of the atmosphere than any other tree. Leaves are the lungs of our planet. At World Tree, we want to help restore the lungs of Mother Earth.

How would you articulate how a business can become more profitable by being more sustainable and more environmentally conscious? Can you share a story or an example?

I think the people in their own business need to do the thinking. Every one of them is going to be different. It would be easy for me to say, change this, or change that, but, that’s from the outside looking in. Don’t be afraid to be different!

The youth-led climate strikes of September 2019 showed an impressive degree of activism and initiative by young people on behalf of climate change. This was great, and there is still plenty that needs to be done. In your opinion what are 5 things parents should do to inspire the next generation to become engaged in sustainability and the environmental movement? Please give a story or an example for each.

The most important thing parents should do to inspire their children is to be an example for them. Children learn from us. Stop using plastic straws and plastic bags, and start to recycle, and compost. They [children] are watching you, parents. Also, show them that participating in the environmental movement builds spirit and community. No matter how small they are, children can make a difference. One young man said at an event I was at, “We may be only 1/3rd of the population today — but we are 100% of the future.”

It’s up to us — the future of our children. We can leave them a legacy.

What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?

  • I wish someone had told me before I started there would be good days — and there would be bad days.
  • I wish I had known how long this was going to take (or maybe it’s a good thing that they didn’t!).
  • I wish someone would have given me a heads-up about going into a male-dominated profession (lumber/forest management).
  • I wish someone would have told me it would be really difficult to raise money for a project, if I didn’t have a man as a partner to ensure success (Boy, were they wrong!).
  • I wish someone would have asked me if money was no object in my business, what would I do differently.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful to who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

Yes — Lou Ross, the CEO at that time of National Scientific, whom I emulated. After 9/11, and the market crashed, my job became obsolete. Even though they would have loved to have me stay on in some kind of capacity, Lou came up to me at that time, and said, “You’re gonna do that damn tree thing you keep talkin’ about, aren’t you?” which I was. For the next few weeks, Lou sat me down and taught me how to start a company. He taught me to always follow my gut, and he taught me that as long as I don’t quit, I’ll succeed.

You are a person of great influence and doing some great things for the world! If you could inspire a movement that would bring the greatest amount of good to the greatest amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)

We’re doing that right now, through our grassroots environmental movement — literally, from the soil up! The way the wealthiest people make their money through investments is out of reach for everyday people. Here at World Tree, we are creating a program where anybody in the world can create wealth for themselves, their families, and a gift to their planet, Mother Earth.

Do you have a favorite life lesson quote? Can you tell us how that was relevant to you in your own life?

My favorite quote is: “The quickest way to the top, is to take everyone with you!”

What is the best way for people to follow you on social media?

Facebook may be the best way right now — but check back in the next few weeks. We’re bringing up our Instagram and other social media platforms for our latest investment round on WeFunder.

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film, Sports and Tech. Authority Mag is devoted primarily to sharing interesting feature interviews of people who are authorities in their industry. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

Penny Bauder

Written by

Environmental scientist-turned-entrepreneur, Founder of Green Kid Crafts

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film, Sports and Tech. Authority Mag is devoted primarily to sharing interesting feature interviews of people who are authorities in their industry. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

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