The ancient practice of making eco-friendly disposable plates and bowls

Dryleaf is a Calgary-based socio-eco start-up company dedicated to helping the environment by making naturally occurring and degrading dinnerware for homes, businesses and restaurants, made from 100 % natural fallen leaves.

Their manufacturing facilities are located in South Asia and a rural part of India where the population is at risk of falling into poverty, malnutrition, child labour, and endemic debt that can lead to bonded labour. By paying a living wage, Dryleaf empowers their workers to develop useful skills and protects them from social issues which can negatively impact their lives.

In addition, Dryleaf provides workers with the freedom to perform their religious on work site and flexibility in terms of work schedules. In the future, they would like to introduce child education support for the kids of the people working at Dryleaf. They also partner with NGOs and agencies that are committed to raising awareness about the dangers of plastics and support training programs aimed at supporting and helping families.

Vibrant Communities Calgary was first introduced to Dryleaf 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 Dryleaf was not the award-winning recipient in 2018, they are a company to watch and support as they grow.

Here’s an inside look into Dryleaf’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

Click here to see Dryleaf’s full application and visit their website www.dryleaf.ca.

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