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Verso Corporation Wins 2015 AF&PA Sustainability Award for Innovation

Nov 16, 2015

CONTACT: Katharine Eaton
(202) 463-2436,  

Recognized for Identifying and Mapping Vernal Pools on State Lands in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula  

WASHINGTON – The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) recognized Verso Corporation as a leader in sustainability with a 2015 AF&PA Sustainability Award. The award was presented at AF&PA’s annual meeting on Friday, Nov. 13 in San Antonio, Texas.

Verso Corporation received an Innovation in Sustainability Award for its Identifying and Mapping Vernal Pools on State Lands in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula project. Designed to recognize exemplary sustainability programs and initiatives in the paper and wood products manufacturing industry, AF&PA’s annual sustainability awards are given based on the merit of entries received across multiple categories.

“Verso Corporation’s project uses technology to enhance understanding and protection of vernal pools, an important component of forest ecosystems,” said AF&PA President and CEO Donna Harman.

Verso Corporation engaged in a public-private partnership to identify and map vernal pools in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, where the company procures wood for its pulp and paper production. Vernal pools are small, shallow, temporary bodies of water that are important for healthy forest ecosystems because they provide food, water and habitat for a number of animal and plant species. Aerial photography and other technologies were used to identify and map vernal pools so that they will not be overlooked and unintentionally damaged or destroyed.

“Thank you to AF&PA for recognizing us with this Innovation in Sustainability Award,” said Verso Corporation President and CEO David Paterson. “Verso is very proud that the results of our vernal pools project will enhance the responsible use of renewable resources in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and help our company and our industry continue to thrive in a sustainable manner.”

AF&PA member company applicants are considered in two categories. Projects that support progress toward the Better Practices, Better Planet 2020 sustainability goals qualify for recognition in the “Leadership” category, which has five subcategories that correspond to the goals: Paper Recovery for Recycling, Energy Efficiency/Greenhouse Gas Reduction, Sustainable Forest Management, Safety, and Water. The “Innovation in Sustainability” award is reserved for projects that merit recognition for their contribution to sustainable business practices, not one of the goals specifically.

AF&PA releases its sustainability report every other year. The 2014 Sustainability Report showed that the U.S. pulp, paper, packaging and wood products manufacturing industry has made significant, measurable progress toward achieving its Better Practices, Better Planet 2020 sustainability goals. 

For more information about the Sustainability Awards program and AF&PA’s Better Practices, Better Planet 2020 initiative, visit

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About AF&PA
The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) serves to advance a sustainable U.S. pulp, paper, packaging, and wood products manufacturing industry through fact-based public policy and marketplace advocacy. AF&PA member companies make products essential for everyday life from renewable and recyclable resources and are committed to continuous improvement through the industry’s sustainability initiative - Better Practices, Better Planet 2020. The forest products industry accounts for approximately 4 percent of the total U.S. manufacturing GDP, manufactures over $200 billion in products annually, and employs approximately 900,000 men and women. The industry meets a payroll of approximately $50 billion annually and is among the top 10 manufacturing sector employers in 47 states. Visit AF&PA online at or follow us on Twitter @ForestandPaper.

About Verso Corporation
Verso Corporation is the turn-to company for those looking to successfully navigate the complexities of paper sourcing and performance.  The leading North American producer of printing and specialty papers and pulp, Verso provides insightful solutions that help drive improved customer efficiency, productivity, brand awareness and business results.  Verso’s long-standing reputation for quality and reliability is directly tied to our vision to be a company with passion that is respected and trusted by all.  Verso’s passion is rooted in ethical business practices that demand safe workplaces for our employees and sustainable wood sourcing for our products.  This passion, combined with our flexible manufacturing capabilities and an unmatched commitment to product performance, delivery and service, make Verso a preferred choice among commercial printers, paper merchants and brokers, converters, publishers and other end users.  For more information, visit us online at