[PRESS RELEASE) MEMPHIS, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Verso Paper Corp. (NYSE: VRS) today announced that their participation in a groundbreaking partnership involving Time Inc., Hearst Enterprises, National Geographic Society, the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®), and another forest products company has led to 790,000 acres of additional forest lands being certified to the SFI Standard in Maine. The partnership was an extension of an earlier project in 2010 that led to 620,000 acres certified to the SFI Standard – bringing the total of additional lands certified to the SFI Standard over the two year period to 1.4 million acres.
“This is a huge accomplishment,” said Craig Liska, Vice President of Sustainability for Verso. “This two-year effort not only resulted in a 20% increase in the amount of certified forestland in Maine but also demonstrated the success of this new SFI group certification process in Maine which we hope will encourage more forest land owners to also seek certification. We believe that forest certification can have a substantial role in encouraging responsible forest management practices and we’re pleased to have been able to work together with SFI and an elite group of customers that share similar values in this topic.”
“Verso is very excited about the success of this latest partnership and embraces our responsibility to support healthy, viable forests as a renewable resource for generations to come,” Mr. Liska continued.
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. References to “Verso” or the “Company” mean Verso Paper Corp. and its consolidated subsidiaries unless otherwise expressly noted.