News at Smith

Robert Kashan ’76 Receives Leadership for Better Business Award at Social Enterprise Symposium

Mar 10, 2017


The Center for Social Value Creation at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business introduced its first “Leadership for Better Business Award” at the annual Social Enterprise Symposium on Friday, March 3, 2017. The award was created to recognize individuals who embody business principles that advance economic, social and environmental prosperity.

The inaugural award was given to Smith School of Business Alumnus Robert Kashan ’76, founder and CEO of EarthColor LLC - one of the largest commercial print houses in the country with a wide range of expertise and technology. The award was timed to coincide with the release of the Center for Social Value Creation’s Principles for Better Business – a set of five values, that can apply to businesses of all shapes and sizes, to benefit both business and society.

Under Kashan’s leadership, EarthColor has demonstrated these business principles in action by creating a social value ecosystem that includes elements of governance and ethics, environmental protection, resource stewardship and energy management, and workplace enrichment. Sustainability is incorporated into every aspect of the organization and its supply chain. Beyond having clear environmental commitments, EarthColor employees earn a starting wage 27.5 percent above the federal minimum; their workforce is 49 percent underrepresented minorities and 30 percent women; and their senior executive team is 31.3 percent women.

In 2014, Kashan won the University of Maryland's Entrepreneur of the Year Award, and EarthColor has won several sustainability awards including the Green Power Leadership Award from the EPA, and the WhatTheyThink Beyond Sustainability Award, as well as forged important partnerships with the Forest Stewardship Council, the EPA Green Power Partnership, and the Rainforest Alliance. Additionally, EarthColor was ranked the most sustainable and forest-friendly printer in North America by Canopy in “The Blueline Report 2015: North American Printers: Sustainability, Transparency, Paper Sourcing and Forest Conservation.”

In Kashan’s words, “Doing the right thing works. Our clients get something that looks great, minimizes costs and has a reduced environmental impact. What company doesn’t want that?”

For more information about the Center for Social Value Creation, visit:

Kim Robertella Glinka, Center for Social Value Creation

About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and part-time MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, specialty master's, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.

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