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MeadWestvaco Corp. ( ) is an American packaging solutions company based in Richmond, Virginiamarker. It has approximately 23,000 employees. In February 2006, it moved its corporate headquarters to Richmond, Virginiamarker. In March 2008 the company announced a change by which it would use "MWV" as its brand; however the legal name of the company remains MeadWestvaco.


MeadWestvaco is a producer of packaging, specialty papers, consumer and office products and specialty chemicals. The company has 153 operating and office locations in 30 countries, and serves customers in over 100 countries. Its consumer brands include Mead, AT-A-GLANCE, Day Runner, Cambridge, Columbian and Five Star. The company’s paperboard, package and paper brands include Carrier Kote, Custom Kote, Printkote, Tango, Digipak, Amaray, Dosepak and Vision. MeadWestvaco holds leading positions in the markets it serves. MeadWestvaco manages over 3 million acres (12,000 km²) of forestlands meeting stringent environmental standards and certified to Sustainable Forestry Initiative standards.

Financial Information

2008 2007 2006 2005
Net Sales (US$M) 6,637 6,906 6,530 6,170
Net Earnings (Loss) (US$M) 90 285 93 28
Source: MeadWestvaco Financial Statements on Hoovers


MeadWestvaco was formed in January 2002 as the result of a merger between The Mead Corporation of Dayton, Ohiomarker, and Westvaco (originally the Piedmontmarker Pulp and Paper Company and then The West Virginia Paper Company).

The ancestor of the Mead Paper Company started out in the paper business in 1846 but did not adopt the name Mead until 1882. Over the decades, Mead diversified into many different businesses and economic sectors, through purchases, mergers and joint ventures. It was first listed on the New York Stock Exchangemarker in 1935. In 1966, Mead acquired Westab, which had already merged with the 1960 union of Montag Brothers Paper Company and Champion Paper.

In 1968, Mead entered the information technology sector by acquiring a small company called Data Corporation for $6 million, and renamed it Mead Data Central. Mead was originally interested in an inkjet printing system developed by Data. However, Data had also been working on a full-text information retrieval system for the U.S. Air Force, and by 1967 had adapted this product to the task of indexing and searching legal precedent as part of an experiment with the Ohio State Bar. After an Arthur D. Little study indicated that the information retrieval product had a promising future, Mead Data Central launched it as the LEXIS legal research system in 1973. In December 1994, Mead sold the LexisNexis system to Reed Elsevier for $1.5 billion.

The U.S. state of Illinoismarker subsequently audited Mead's income tax returns and charged Mead an additional $4 million in income tax and penalties for the sale of LexisNexis; Mead paid the tax under protest, then sued for a refund in an Illinois state court. On April 15, 2008, the U.S.marker Supreme Courtmarker agreed with Mead that the Illinois courts had incorrectly applied the Court's precedents on whether Illinois could constitutionally apply its income tax to Mead, an out-of-state, Ohio-based corporation. The Court reversed and remanded so that the lower courts could apply the correct test and determine whether Mead and Lexis were a "unitary" business.

In 2005, the Papers business unit—including both Mead and Westvaco paper mills—was sold to the investment firm Cerberus Capital Management for about $2.3 billion. The new company is called NewPage Corporation and still operates in Dayton, Ohiomarker.

In 2008, MeadWestvaco sold its Charleston, SCmarker kraft paper mill to Kapstone Paper and Packaging.

The company owns large tracts of original Westvaco land in northern Greenbrier County, West Virginiamarker. The company is relatively lenient regarding recreational land use by private citizens, including hunting, fishing, and the digging of ramps (wild leeks), and unimproved roads can be used to access the area from Anjeanmarker and Richwoodmarker. MeadWestvaco, however, does not tolerate destruction of property or the use of ATVs.

MeadWestvaco became MWV in 2008.

Environmental Record

In 2002, researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst have identified MeadWestvaco as the 57th-largest corporate producer of air pollution in the United States, with roughly 35,000 pounds of toxic chemicals released annually into the air. Major pollutants indicated by the study include sulfuric acid, chlorine dioxide, chlorine, and methyl iodide.

MWV has taken steps to improve its environmental impact by upholding both mandated and voluntary performance standards. Since 2005, it has been named to the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index, a system that tracks the financial performance of leading sustainability-driven companies worldwide. MWV meets the carbon reduction targets of the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX), the world's first and North America's only legally binding rules-based greenhouse gas emissions allowance trading system. It also holds leadership positions in and actively supports Sustainable Packaging Coalition, Cerflor, CCX, World Business Council for Sustainable Development, Abundant Forests Alliance, Duke University Climate Chance Policy Partnership and Sustainable Forestry Initiative.

MeadWestvaco Foundation

In 2002, MeadWestvaco established the MeadWestvaco Foundation as a vehicle to appropriately give back to the communities in which its employees live and work. The Foundation works closely with local MWV business unit managers to determine the goals, priorities, and strategies best for each location.

The Foundation’s 2007 contributions totaled roughly $3.7million. Funds were allocated to the following categories: United Way, education, environment, health & human services, culture & art, and civic organizations. MWV employees, families, and friends also contributed over 46,000 volunteer hours to schools, charitable organizations, and public institutions.

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