Doing business differently with Blu Planet
Around Calgary, you might have seen Blu Planet’s large recycling trucks and recycling bins at businesses, condos and residences. Blu Planet is a Calgary based multi-family residential and commercial collection service provider doing business differently. They are a leader in sustainability providing socially and environmentally responsible recycling collection services.
Blu Planet takes collected materials to a variety of places depending on where they can get the best and most efficient processing for those materials. They maintain relationships with a number of local and regional materials processing partners who can manage the materials recovery process effectively. Blu Planet achieves the best overall waste diversion rates of any provider in the city and is a Certified Benefit Corporation.
Paying a living wage to all employees is strongly tied to Blu Planet’s corporate mission and values. By ensuring that their employees have the capacity to support their basic living needs, they reduce the stress levels and pressures experienced by their staff. They believe the reduction of stress will support the mental and physical health of their workforce, enhance the morale of their team, and improve engagement and job satisfaction.
At Vibrant Communities Calgary, we often say that paying a Living Wage is a poverty reduction strategy. A company who invests in its employees and pays a Living Wage can prevent their staff from falling into poverty. We call this an upstream action, and it can go a long way.
In addition, Blu Planet provides a comprehensive benefits package for all employees which includes components specifically designed to support their personal as well as professional health and development.
In 2018, they implemented a supported financial literacy and acumen development program for their employees. Staff have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with a financial advisor who can help with financial literacy and financial planning. The goal of this program is to help employees reduce stress and valuable receive training.
Vibrant Communities Calgary was first introduced to Blu Planet when they applied for REAP’s Empowering Employees Leader Award.
REAP stands for Respect for the Earth and All People. REAP is a not-for-profit association for locally owned businesses that care about the community and the environment.
REAP’s Annual Be Local Awards program is delivered in partnership with First Calgary Financial and recognizes excellence in our local economy by sharing the stories of the incredible work many companies and organizations are doing to support people and planet. Each year six leadership awards are presented.
The Empowering Employees Leader Award is presented by Vibrant Communities Calgary to a REAP member that is affecting meaningful and sustainable progress towards reducing poverty through employee-centered practices that build resilience. These may include but are not limited to paying a living wage, providing additional forms of compensation, financial literacy and employee wellness programs.
The decision to select an award recipient was no easy task and although Blu Planet was not the award-winning recipient in 2018, they are making a difference in our community.
Here’s an inside look into Blu Planet’s application for the Empowering Employees Leader Award where they answered the following questions:
- Why does paying a Living Wage matter to your business/organization?
- What other HR practices do you have in place that represent an investment in your employees?
- How does your business empower employees?
- Describe a new initiative adopted within the last 12 months that reflects your commitment to an investment in your employees