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GCM Shines at Envision Colloquium

February 18, 2011  By Jon Robinson

Over 150 people, including students and printing professionals, gathered in Toronto last night to take part in the 7th-annual colloquium hosted by the third-year class of Ryerson’s Graphic Communication’s Management program.

“We’re really proud of all the hard work we did,” says Emily Kuchta, who served as Master of Ceremonies with fellow third-year Ryerson student Ahmed Alabbas. “We’ve had the chance to visit so many companies in industry and see what they do. Now we had the chance to show them what we can do.”

Matthew Alexander, President of Colour Innovations, opened up the colloquium, called Envision and the Future of Print, with a 20-minute presentation about printing and the environment.


After walking the crowd through Colour Innovation’s long history in environmental leadership, he described the company’s efforts to become the first Canadian member of the Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (SGP). Founded in part by the Printing Industries of America, SGP is an organization that audits and certifies the environmental position of printing companies.

While SGP currently lists 29 U.S.-based printers as members, Colour Innovations has spent nearly two years working to meet the stringent SGP guidelines and expects to complete the process later this year. Alexander described the difficulty in maintaining budget for environmental initiatives over the past couple of years of tight economic conditions. He points out, however, that the shareholders of large corporations are demanding environmental accountability, and that Nike recently became the first entity to state it will only source printing from SGP-certified shops – once existing supplier contracts run out.

Alexander also pointed out, that while the amount of required documentation can be a burden, the SGP program is ideally suited for medium-sized printing companies running a single facility.

Henry Laszutko of CCL Industries, a global packaging company with 59 facilities across North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa, spent 20 minutes speaking about innovative in his field. Laszutko, who was a primary architect of the annual Monopoly promotion by McDonald’s Restaurants, entertained the crowd with samples of metallic, RFID and 2-dimensional labels.

Before the final speaker of the evening, Gerry Visca of Redchair Branding, took the stage, Laszutko closed out his presentation with words of advice for the GCM students, including:

– First impressions count: Dress nice and talk clearly,

– Be confident, you’re Ryerson grads!,

– Write yourself a mission statement,

– Find something in this business you can be passionate about,

- Don’t be afraid to take risks but always test!,

- Don’t stop learning. Change is inevitable, like death and taxes!,

– Don’t take yourself too seriously. SMILE!

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