Verso Corporation (OTCQB: VRSZ), a leading producer of printing and specialty papers and pulp in North America, today announced the publication of its 2014 Sustainability Report titled One Vision. One Voice.
“The title of our 2014 Sustainability Report reflects the combination of two paper companies, each with a rich heritage and diverse strengths cultivated through decades of papermaking experience,” said Verso President and CEO David J. Paterson. “The new Verso is leveraging these strengths as a fully aligned team with one vision and one voice.” Verso acquired NewPage Holdings Inc. in January 2015.
Verso’s 2014 Sustainability Report focuses on four key areas: caring for people, using resources responsibly, manufacturing efficiently and serving customers. “With our sights set on continuous performance improvement, the combined 2014 data from our predecessor companies sets a new baseline against which we’ll measure our sustainability progress,” Paterson added.
2014 Sustainability Highlights
•Verso demonstrated industry-leading safety performance, with a 2014 Total Incident Rate of 1.43, which is approximately one-half the U.S. Paper Industry’s last reported average of 2.8 (2013).
•The Quinnesec Mill in Michigan was recertified to Star status in the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Voluntary Protection Program (VPP). VPP recognizes facilities for having safety systems that exceed OSHA standards, a strong safety commitment and sustainable health and safety management systems.
•Fifty percent of the fiber Verso used to manufacture its products was third-party certified to a credible forest certification standard and 32 percent of the total paper it sold was chain-of-custody certified.
•Carbon-neutral, wood-based biomass accounted for more than 65 percent of onsite energy generation at Verso’s mills.
•Fifty-six percent of the manufacturing byproducts generated at Verso’s mills was reused for energy generation and 29 percent was reclaimed for other beneficial reuse applications.
•Seventy-nine percent of Verso’s product volume was shipped by carriers participating in the U.S. EPA SmartWay™ Transport Partnership.
•Verso was recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings, Better Plants program for reducing its energy per ton of production by 25 percent, five years ahead of schedule.
•Verso won two American Forest and Paper Association 2014 Leadership in Sustainability Awards, for paper recovery and recycling at the Duluth Mill in Minnesota and water use reduction at the Escanaba Mill in Michigan.
•The Stevens Point Mill earned the 2014 Green Masters Award from the Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council for significant and ongoing sustainability practices.
•The Quinnesec Mill was recognized as Clean Corporate Citizen by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality for demonstrating environmental ethics and stewardship.
•Verso and its employees contributed $946,000 to charitable causes in their local communities.