Verso Paper Corp. Reports 2012 Sustainability Progress in "Deep Roots, New Routes"

Verso Paper Corp. Reports 2012 Sustainability Progress in "Deep Roots, New Routes"

MEMPHIS, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Verso Paper Corp. (NYS: VRS) today announced the publication of its 2012 Sustainability Report titled "Deep Roots, New Routes." The report details Verso's progress against its commitment to respect a sustainable balance among environmental, social and economic needs.

"When I joined Verso in 2012, one of the first things that impressed me was how engaged our people are in making the company a truly sustainable enterprise," said Verso President and CEO Dave Paterson. "It's their genuine commitment to Verso's founding principles, their drive to adapt and innovate in a changing marketplace and their dedication to doing what's right for our business, our customers and our planet that bring to life this year's Sustainability Report theme, Deep Roots, New Routes."


2012 Sustainability Report Highlights

  • Verso's 2012 energy initiatives kept us on track to achieve our U.S. Department of Energy Better Buildings, Better Plants goal of reducing energy intensity by 25% by 2019.
  • We completed and commercialized a $42 million renewable energy project at our Bucksport Mill in Maine that includes an upgraded biomass delivery system, upgraded combination boiler and new 25 megawatt turbine generator. The boiler, previously fed by a combination of fuels, now runs solely on renewable biomass save for a small amount of natural gas used to ignite the boiler at startup.
  • 65 percent of total on-site energy generated by Verso in 2012 came from renewable, greenhouse gas-neutral biomass.
  • 69 percent of the wood fiber Verso used was third-party certified to a credible forest management certification standard and all three Verso mills maintained compliance with the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (BV-PEFCCOC-US005202-1) and Forest Stewardship Council™ (FSC® License Code FSC®-C019085) chain-of-custody standards.
  • 32% of our total sales were chain-of-custody certified in 2012.
  • We launched the Verso Forest Certification Grant Program, an initiative aimed at increasing certified fiber and certified acreage on lands near our three paper mills. The program provides start-up funding to encourage and assist landowners, consulting foresters and other stakeholders in developing innovative new projects that will help expand and maintain certification in Verso's wood procurement zones.
  • Each of Verso's three mills maintained certification to the ISO 14001:2004 environmental management system standard.
  • Verso had a perfect environmental compliance record in 2012 with no environmental compliance notices from regulatory agencies.
  • Verso's combined employee and company United Way contributions totaled more than $360,000, a 21 percent increase over 2011.

For more information, download a full copy of the Verso 2012 Sustainability Report from the company's website at www.versopaper.com/sustainability.

About Verso

Based in Memphis, Tennessee, Verso Paper Corp. is a leading North American producer of coated papers, including coated groundwood and coated freesheet, and specialty products. Verso's paper products are used primarily in media and marketing applications, including magazines, catalogs and commercial printing applications such as high-end advertising brochures, annual reports and direct-mail advertising.

Forward-Looking Statements

In this press release, all statements that are not purely historical facts are forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Forward-looking statements may be identified by the words "believe," "expect," "anticipate," "project," "plan," "estimate," "intend" and similar expressions. Forward-looking statements are based on currently available business, economic, financial and other information and reflect management's current beliefs, expectations and views with respect to future developments and their potential effects on Verso. Actual results could vary materially depending on risks and uncertainties that may affect Verso and its business. For a discussion of such risks and uncertainties, please refer to Verso's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Verso assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement made in this press release to reflect subsequent events or circumstances or actual outcomes.



Verso Paper Corp.
Monica Garvey, 901-369-4154
Sustainability Manager
monica.garvey@versopaper.com
www.versopaper.com

KEYWORDS:   United States  North America  Tennessee

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