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Verso Paper Corp. Reports 2011 Sustainability Progress In “Count On Verso”

Verso Paper Corp. (NYSE:VRS) today announced the publication of its 2011 Sustainability Report titled “Count on Verso.” The report details Verso’s progress against its commitment to respect a sustainable balance among environmental, social and economic needs.

“The title of our 2011 report reflects Verso’s belief that our company’s sustainability commitment carries with it a responsibility to deliver a high level of certainty to everyone we interact with, even in these uncertain times,” explains Verso President and CEO Mike Jackson. “Our corporate strategy and disciplined approach to executing it assure our customers and other stakeholders that they can count on Verso to do what we say we will do when it comes to our business, our people and our planet.”

2011 Sustainability Report Highlights

  • Our excellent safety performance continued in 2011 with a total incidence rate (TIR) of 1.58 and a world-class lost workday incidence rate (LWIR) of 0.20. We believe that zero injuries is achievable and continue to strive toward that goal.
  • Our 2011 energy initiatives moved us nearly half the way toward keeping our 2009 Save Energy Now LEADER pledge to reduce energy per unit of production 25 percent by 2019.
  • We completed a $45 million renewable energy project at our Quinnesec Mill in Michigan that will deliver 28 megawatts of green energy, an amount equivalent to the electricity used by 21,000 households annually.
  • Sixty percent of the energy generated by Verso in 2011 came from renewable, greenhouse gas-neutral biomass.
  • 70 percent of the wood fiber Verso used was third-party certified to a credible forest management certification standard and all four Verso mills maintained compliance with the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC™ - PwC-PEFC-319) and Forest Stewardship Council™ (FSC ® License Code FSC ®-C019085) chain of custody standards.
  • We increased our sale of chain-of-custody certified papers to 33% of total sales, up from 26% in 2010.
  • The company completed an innovative, two-year pilot project with several customers and other stakeholders that added 1.4 million certified acres in Maine, an increase of 20 percent.
  • Each of Verso’s four mills applied for and received ISO 14001:2004 recertification after successfully completing an independent audit of its environmental management system.
  • Verso once again had a near perfect environmental compliance record with only one notice of violation. Cited issues were corrected immediately and no fines were assessed.
  • Verso’s combined employee and company United Way contributions totaled more than $300,000, a 3 percent increase over 2010.

For more information, download a full copy of the Verso 2011 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. Additional information about Verso is available on our website at www.versopaper.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

In this news release, all statements that are not purely historical facts are forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 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 news release to reflect subsequent events or circumstances or actual outcomes.

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