Verso Paper Corp. (NYSE:VRS) today launched the Verso Forest Certification Grant Program, an initiative aimed at increasing certified fiber and certified acreage on lands near the company’s four paper mills. The program will provide 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. “Verso’s Forest Certification Grant Program helps us meet two important sustainability commitments,” says Verso Senior Vice President for Manufacturing and Energy Lyle Fellows. “By encouraging expanded forest certification, we’re advancing responsible management practices that keep U.S. forests vibrant and healthy. We’re also helping to increase the available supply of certified fiber which, in turn, allows us to keep our pledge to provide paper products that help our customers meet their own sustainability objectives,” he says. “Verso already uses a high percentage of fiber that’s certified to credible forest management certification standards – about 70 percent, but the availability of certified fiber in the United States remains limited with only about 28 percent of privately owned U.S. land certified,” explains Verso Senior Vice President for Sales, Marketing and Product Development Mike Weinhold. “With customer demand for certified paper products increasing significantly, it’s vital that we do all we can to make sure the supply of certified fiber keeps pace.” The Forest Certification Grant Program builds on Verso’s track record of successful forest certification expansion initiatives. In 2011, the company completed a two-year group certification project in partnership with several of its customers and other stakeholders that resulted in an additional 1.4 million certified acres in Maine. In 2009 and 2010, a Verso grant to the Trust to Conserve Northeast Forestlands resulted in 160,000 additional certified acres across six Northeast states. Verso regularly encourages certification through collaboration with state forestry associations and certification organizations, and through its relationships with private landowners.
Anyone interested in learning more about the Verso Forest Certification Grant Program or in obtaining a grant application may contact:Greg Barrows ( email@example.com)Verso Paper Corp. Bucksport MillP.O. Box 12002 River RoadBucksport, ME 04417 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 the company’s website at www.versopaper.com. 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.