Verso Paper Releases 2013 Sustainability Progress in 'Our Sustainable Identity' ReportMay 1, 2014
MEMPHIS, TN—May 1, 2014—Verso Paper announced the publication of its 2013 Sustainability Report titled "Our Sustainable Identity." The report details Verso's progress against its commitment to respect a sustainable balance among environmental, social and economic needs.
"After being on the job for two years, I've seen consistently remarkable performance on the part of Verso's management and employees and we've continued to nurture excellence," said Verso President and CEO Dave Paterson. "We've charted a successful course built on our sustainable identity and will continue advancing toward a future energized by innovation, the support of our stakeholders and our unflagging commitment to paper and energy."
2013 Sustainability Report Highlights
- At its Quinnesec Mill, 2013 was a record safety year, demonstrating what can happen when every employee is committed to and engaged in safe behavior. Quinnesec's Total Incidence Rate (TIR) was down an impressive 50 percent from 2012, and it represents the best annual safety performance in both mill and Verso history. Quinnesec's 2013 TIR was lower than any American Forest & Paper Association member company.
- Verso remained committed to the U.S. Department of Energy Better Buildings, Better Plants goal to reduce its energy intensity by 25 percent over 10 years, and by late 2013 we were significantly ahead of our 2019 deadline.
- 2013 was the first full year we were able to experience the benefits realized through the completion of renewable energy projects at both its Bucksport Mill in 2012 and Quinnesec Mill in 2011. After investing $92 million in the two projects, the company saw a decrease in our operating costs and an increase in its renewable energy generating capacities.
- 72 percent of total on-site energy generated by Verso in 2013 came from renewable, greenhouse gas-neutral biomass.
- 67 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-US005202-2) and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC License Code FSC-C019085) chain-of-custody standards.
- 33 percent of its total sales were chain-of-custody certified in 2013.
- The company continued with a second year of 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. A third grant was awarded in 2013.
- Verso led the effort to form a collaborative project to identify and map vernal pools—classified as small, temporary water bodies providing essential habitats to a variety of plants and animals—in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Along with the Michigan Forest Products Council, the Michigan Natural Features Inventory and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Verso has begun a targeted effort to locate, manage and conserve vernal pools where we secure wood for pulp and paper production.
- Each of Verso's three mills maintained certification to the ISO 14001:2004 environmental management system standard.
- Verso again had a perfect environmental compliance record in 2013 with no environmental compliance notices from regulatory agencies.
- Verso's employees raised a record total of $377,522 for United Way in 2013, a three percent increase from the 2012 total pledged by our employees.
Verso Paper is a leading North American producer of coated papers, including coated groundwood and coated freesheet, and specialty products. Verso is headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee, and owns three paper mills located in Maine and Michigan. 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.