WholeTrees — Fantastic B Corps

How often do we consider the importance of trees in our day-to-day world? For B Corporation WholeTrees, everything in design and construction begins with a tree and its timber. Founded by Roald Gundersen and Amelia Baxter, WholeTrees engineers round timber for commercial construction. Pre-engineered wood components made from unmilled round timbers make up the structural products of WholeTrees which are byproducts of sustainable forest management. The company also provides design and construction services, enhancing buildings by bringing the outdoors indoors and build relationships with forests and communities. Read on to find out more about Amelia and their Madison, WI-based B Corp.

The mission of WholeTrees.

“We were motivated to start WholeTrees by the profound wisdom of our forestland and learning lab in the driftless region of southwestern Wisconsin. WholeTrees builds prosperous relationships between forests and communities.  WholeTrees Structures designs, engineers and manufactures restorative construction products for innovative owners and their building professionals.  We utilize nature’s inherent engineering to provide cost-effective, biophilic and sustainable structural systems. We’ve backed this up with extensive research, unrivaled product development and a deep passion for disruptive innovation in how we build to restore the awe and delight of our woodlands.”

Going above and beyond as a B Corporation.

“WholeTrees seeks to be the guiding brand in restorative commercial construction, a regenerative inspiration for the forest products industry and leading pioneers of woodland stewardship. Developing and supplying markets that believe in what we do fuels us to keep supporting our team and the amazing people that create our supply chain. It is highly motivating to have your values drive a company’s economic growth.

Every day we work to improve ecology and equity in alongside profits by:

  • Sustainably optimizing and restoring forests
  • Responsibly revitalizing woodland communities and economies
  • Diligently committing to transparency, health and safety in our supply chains

All of this ultimately reconnects built space with inspiration from the natural environment. How cool is that!”

wholetrees_b_corpHow the City of Madison, Wisconsin contributed to one of our greatest success stories.

“We were able to work with the City of Madison to use ash trees that were marked for removal from the urban tree canopy due to an invasive pest. With our collaborators at the USDA Forest Products Laboratory, we tested and engineered branching tree columns to be installed in a commercial grocery store. These trees were returned to the community where they continue to add awe, delight and support. The project not only supported the urban tree canopy, but also included Red Pine trusses from overstocked stands along the Wisconsin River just 60 miles away. The project created jobs in this rural community and contributed to the health of the areas forests. The final product is an homage to Wisconsin’s forests and a beautiful space.”

How building one another up allows us to “B The Change” and innovate.

“We are innovators, disruptors and stewards, humbled by forest ecosystems. We are inquisitive and we encourage growth through a prism of four company tenants.

  • Connection
  • Identity
  • Inquiry
  • Passion

Our team members all have voices and valued perspectives because woodland communities do not grow without strongly connected and supportive roots. WholeTrees fosters an environment that adds air to compost, mitigating toxic anaerobic emotion. We emote, share, process and navigate our work with joy all while building each other up. Each day our team strives for excellence fed by laughter and self-reflection among our forests. We value authenticity and accountability and hope our clients do too.”

If you want to become a B Corp…

“If you are impassioned by your mission the best way to share this is through B Corp. It is so rewarding to wake up each day and know that not only do I love what we do, my employees and our clients do too. A B Corp is a no-brainer if you are looking to create a positive force. It supports your shareholders, and the communities you engage with and the ecosystems that support us all.”

How B Corps are helping to shape a better tomorrow.

“B Corp will soon be the norm and I cannot wait. It is refreshing that employees are seeking environments with purpose and consumers want to support positive action. Economic prosperity means nothing when your employees are unhappy, your community is depleted and your environment cannot sustain your actions. True success comes when these three areas are all met and I look forward to each and every company taking this step.”

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About Amelia Baxter, CEO and Co-Founder, WholeTrees

amelia_baxter_wholetreesAmelia Baxter co-founded Whole Trees in 2007, as a response to the national attention received by their use of un-milled timber as a structural resource. Baxter leads her executive team toward both scale and innovation. Baxter has over a decade’s experience in market development, HR, and operations in numerous agricultural and land management projects. Throughout her career, Baxter has specialized in managing short and mid-term systems to reach long term goals. She also attracts talented teams that build organizational capacity and successful momentum. She has worked internationally with thought leaders in the Responsible Business movement.