Verso paper mills achieve PEFC chain of custody certification

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MEMPHIS, TN – Verso Paper Corp. today announced that its four paper mills have been independently audited and certified to the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) chain of custody standard. PEFC is the world’s largest forest certification system.

“As customer demand for certified paper products has grown, Verso has not only increased the amount of third party-certified fiber in our products – with a goal of 64 percent in 2008 – we’ve also become a champion for chain of custody (CoC) certification,” says Verso Vice President for Sustainability Craig Liska. “Last year our mills achieved certification to one of the world’s leading chain of custody standards. Achieving PEFC chain of custody certification this year demonstrates our continuing commitment to assure the sustainability of our own business practices and to help our customers achieve their sustainability goals.”

An independent, non-profit, non-governmental umbrella organization founded in 1999 to promote sustainably managed forests through third-party forest certification, PEFC assesses and mutually recognizes national forest certification systems. The 26 national certification systems currently endorsed by PEFC account for more than 500 million acres of certified forests on six continents that deliver millions of tons of certified wood fiber to the marketplace annually.

In North America, PEFC endorses three forest certification standards: the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI) standard and the American Tree Farm System (ATFS) standard in the United States, and the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) standard in Canada. Under mutual recognition agreements between PEFC and SFI, between PEFC and ATFS, and between PEFC and CSA, any wood fiber that comes from SFI-certified, ATFS-certified or CSA-certified sources can be tracked, documented and certified to the PEFC chain of custody standard. PEFC requires certificate holders to have adequate purchasing measures for all fiber to assure there is low risk that certified products contain material from controversial sources.

The PEFC chain of custody standard offers on-product labeling options that will be available to Verso customers in early 2009. In addition, customers who are certified to the SFI chain of custody standard will be able to use Verso’s PEFC chain of custody-certified paper to meet SFI labeling requirements.

Based in Memphis, Tenn., 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 our Web site at www.versopaper.com.

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