I sometimes come across new companies that spark my interest and make me want to learn more about them. My latest discovery is Hawaiian Legacy Hardwoods and it’s subsidiaries Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative and Legacy Tours.
You might have guessed from the company names that their business focus is reforestation and sustainable deforestation. So, what makes this company so special?
Let’s first take a look at the Koa tree itself. It is a fast growing tree that is nitrogen fixing which means that it can grow in soil that is too poor to support other species.
It’s wood is of exceptional beauty. In the past, it was used to provide the Royal Family with canoes and furniture. Today, it is used for high end furniture and musical instruments.
Now, let’s come back to the company itself. As I mentioned above, the company is split into three subsidiaries.
- Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative
This subsidiary is a non-profit organization. As such, it is focused on educating people about Koa trees. At the same time, it also allows visitors to the Big Island to plant their own Koa tree. Maybe I am somewhat old-fashioned, but I do believe that a tree is a great gift for children or a partner in life. Regardless if you plant a tree to commemorate an event (e.g. wedding, anniversary, birth), memorialize a loved one or any other reason, it is something substantial that will be there for a long period of time. Your purchase provides you with a unique certificate identifying the location of your tree including a personalized inscription. Furthermore, each tree purchase includes a $20 donation to a non-profit of your choice. But it gets even better. Obviously, we live in the internet age and so each tree includes an RFID tag and a Geo location that allows you to locate your tree on Google Earth. They even print their own RFID tags using a 3D printer. Cool stuff!
- Legacy Tours
This subsidiary is complementary to the one above. It basically allows people to plant their own tree while taking a tour through the plantation on the slopes of Mauna Kea. I hope you can trust me when I tell you that this area is beautiful.
- Hawaiian Legacy Hardwoods
This is the “for profit” subsidiary and I have kept this for last because I wanted to first show the amount of energy this company is putting into planting the trees. This is certainly not your average run of the mill sustainable wood company. They are on a mission to bring back Koa tree forests! Obviously, bringing back a whole forest of Koa trees requires funding and so this subsidiary is focused on providing just that. Essentially, it sells Koa trees as an investment opportunity in lots of 100 trees for around $11k. Their web page shows three projection tables with the least optimistic one (see chart below) showing a return of $217k within 25 years. That’s a fairly substantial return in my book!
Now, I am certainly not an expert on Koa trees and so you need to do your own research, but the location seems ideal for Koa trees and the area itself has a lava flow risk of 8 (with 9 being the lowest risk). That said, I am sure that there are risks in form of diseases and fire. So, please do your homework and only invest money that you can afford to loose!
What’s my takeaway here?
I am really excited by the focus of this company. They are doing everything possible to make their vision of a Koa tree forest become a reality. And, what a great dream it is. I mean my family and I are frequent visitors of the Big Island. We have been to many different places on the island, but the slopes of Mauna Kea and the mountain itself are a unique environment without comparison on earth. Needless to say that we will definitely take a tour and plant some trees on our next visit. I am sure it will be a unique experience for the whole family which we can’t get anywhere else.
At the same time, the company is embracing new technologies like RFID and 3d printing to reach younger generations and their need to be connected at all times. The result is a great example of nature and technology complementing each other!
I also admit that I am thinking about making an investment as well. I mean it looks ideal to provide my son with some funding for college and/or a good start into life. What else can one ask for? Sunset? Mai Tai? I hear you!
Hawaiian Legacy Hardwoods
Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative