MWV Corp. is an American packaging solutions company based in Richmond, Virginia. It has approximately 23,000 employees. In February 2006, MWV moved the corporate headquarters to Richmond, Virginia. Originally founded as "MeadWestvaco", it became "MWV" in March 2008.
|Net Sales (US$M)||6,906||6,530||6,170||6,060|
|Net Earnings (Loss) (US$M)||285||93||28||(349)|
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 Exchange 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 Illinois 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. Supreme Court 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, Ohio.
The company owns large tracts of original Westvaco land in northern Greenbrier County, West Virginia. 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 Anjean and Richwood. Westvaco, however, does not tolerate destruction of property or the use of ATVs.
MeadWestvaco became MWV in 2008.
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.
MWV also has a foundation, the MeadWestvaco Foundation. The Foundation's primary focus is to enhance the quality of life in communities where MWV has major operations and where MWV employees and their families live and work. This includes providing direct grant support and encouraging active management and employee leadership involvement and volunteerism.