Verso Paper Corp. (NYSE:VRS) today announced its release of “A Renewable Commitment – Sustainability Report 2009.” The report shares Verso’s continued commitment to valuing the principle of sustainably balancing environmental, social and economic needs.

“The focus on renewable commitment was particularly important during 2009, a challenging year to be in the paper business,” said Mike Jackson, Verso’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Our people took on every challenge with determination and resourcefulness holding fast to our sustainability principles. We were able to create value for our stakeholders by perpetually driving for performance improvements and demonstrating a truly renewable commitment to financial success, environmental excellence and social responsibility.”

2009 Sustainability Report Highlights
  • Verso’s commitment to safety excellence was demonstrated with a total incidence rate (TIR) for injuries of 1.92, a historic low for the company and nearly two times better than the industry average.
  • Verso increased certified fiber use from third party suppliers to 69% from 65%, surpassing the goal of 67%. In addition, Verso expanded its collaboration with other stakeholders to help increase the overall amount of certified fiber available in the marketplace.
  • Verso increased the amount of carbon-neutral biomass energy used to run its operations to 53.6%, up from 53.1% in 2008.
  • Verso was awarded a $9.3 million grant by the U.S. Department of Energy, which the company matched with an additional $9.6 million, to implement 12 energy projects that will improve energy efficiency by 33% and save about 1.27 trillion Btus annually.
  • Verso partnered with one of its top customers, The National Geographic Society, to measure the carbon footprint of National Geographic magazine, which is printed on paper made at Verso’s Androscoggin mill in Maine. This project helped the company further refine the lifecycle assessment model it developed in 2008.
  • Building on its expertise in manufacturing lightweight papers that require fewer natural resources to produce, Verso expanded its product offerings to include a line of lightweight uncoated printing papers and a line of supercalendered papers for the magazine, catalog and retail insert markets.
  • During particularly difficult economic conditions, the Verso organization reached out to their neighbors and maintained the previous year’s level of giving to United Way.

For more information, download a full copy of the Verso 2009 Sustainability Report from the company’s Web site 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 supercalendered 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 the company’s Web site at www.versopaper.com.

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