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WEC Honors International Paper at The Annual WEC Gold Medal Dinner

Washington, D.C., May 26, 2000 – The Sixteenth WEC Gold Medal for International Corporate Environmental Achievement was awarded on May 19th to International Paper by the World Environment Center. At a formal gala held at the National Building Museum, Mr. Gilbert M. Grosvenor, Chairman of the Board, National Geographic presented the Medal to Mr. John Dillon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of International Paper.

International Paper was selected to receive the WEC 2000 Gold Medal by an independent jury of distinguished international environmentalists from academia, government, industry and non-governmental organizations. Dr. Joel I. Abrams, Professor Emeritus of the University of Pittsburgh, chairman of the jury said, "As a leader in the forestry industry, International Paper is helping to set standards for best practices and enhanced environmental performance. The company’s integration of environmental protection, economic growth, and social responsibility serves as a model for others to follow."

In commenting on the award, Dillon said "This award belongs to every one of the 100,000 International Paper employees, because the culture of environmental excellence and spirit of innovation that made these programs possible cannot exist in a corporation like ours without the personal commitment of everyone in the company, in every division and at every level of management. That commitment has made the difference for us."

International Paper was the first forest products company in the U.S. to earn ISO 140001 certification of a forest management system. It manages its forests according to the standards of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFISM) program of the American Forest and Paper Association, and requires its loggers to do the same. Of special note is the company’s Signature Project, an innovative habitat conservation program that is the first mitigation bank on private lands initiated by an industrial concern. Developed in partnership with government agencies and non-governmental environmental advocacy organizations, the program contributes to long-term species survival and endangered species recovery while providing International Paper, the largest single private landowner in the United States, with the flexibility it needs to manage its land.

The award presentation ceremony and dinner followed the second annual WEC Gold Medal Colloquium on "Best Practices for the Millennium," which featured a presentation by the WEC Gold Medal awardee, International Paper. During the two-day meeting, international experts from industry, government, NGO’s and academia shared their views about the best environmental, health and safety practices for a sustainable future. Chaired by Dr. Robert W. Slater, Senior Assistant Deputy Minister of Environment Canada, the meeting included presentations by renowned architect William McDonough, called a "hero for the planet" by Time Magazine, Professor Nicholas Robinson, an expert on international rules of law, and representatives from leading companies worldwide.

WEC is an independent, not-for-profit, non-advocacy organization. Founded in 1974 with a grant from the United Nations Environment Programme, the Center contributes to sustainable development worldwide by strengthening industrial and urban environment, health and safety policy and practices through three complementary programs - the International Environment and Development Service, the International Environment Forum, and the WEC Gold Medal. WEC is a bridge for the exchange of information and expertise among industry, government, non-governmental organizations, and the community.

International Paper ( ) is the world's largest paper and forest products company. Businesses include printing papers, packaging, building materials, chemical products and distribution. As the largest private landowner in the U.S., the company manages its forest under the principles of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFISM) program, a system that ensures the perpetual growing and harvesting of trees while protecting wildlife, plants, soil, air and water quality. Headquartered in the United States at Purchase, N.Y., International Paper has operations in nearly 50 countries, employs nearly 100,000 people and exports its products to more than 130 nations.

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