G4-18
Process for Defining Report Content

In 2014, BrownFlynn completed a materiality assessment to identify and prioritize our most significant sustainability impacts, risks, and opportunities as a sustainability and corporate responsibility consulting firm. As part of this process, we followed GRI’s recommended steps for defining material aspects and boundaries:

Identification
  • Benchmarked professional services firms and evaluated the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board’s Professional Services Standards

  • Interviewed a cross-section of external stakeholders

  • Conducted a Value Chain Impact Mapping℠ session to plot our value chain and identify where impacts occur (boundary)

downarrow

Prioritization
  • Gathered evidence of topics’ significance via 14 external stakeholder interviews

  • Distributed a survey, completed by 100% of employees, and evaluated the Firm’s written policies to determine the extent to which topics affect BrownFlynn

downarrow

Validation
  • Shared insights and results from materiality assessment with BrownFlynn’s leadership

As a small professional services firm, our direct impacts are limited. Our materiality assessment guides us in improving our performance in the areas that matter most to BrownFlynn and our stakeholders—where we can make a positive and tangible impact through our work.

G4-19, G4-20, G4-21

Through our materiality assessment, BrownFlynn identified 18 important topics. This report covers the seven topics identified as the most significant to BrownFlynn and our stakeholders (eight topics total including Transport) shown at the right of the matrix below. Click on a topic to read its description and boundary. As part of our commitment to helping promote the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), we have mapped our material topics to the specific SDGs we support internally and through our work.

Relative Priority of Sustainability Topics
All
Economic
Social
Environmental

Walk the Talk

Demonstrating subject matter expertise/best practices to clients by having gone through it ourselves (e.g., materiality assessment, GRI G4 reporting, following a sustainable purchasing policy, etc.).
Boundary
Internal
UN Sustainable Development Goals

Thought Leadership

Demonstrating a point of view and expertise on specific sustainability topic areas.
Boundary
Internal; External (Marketing Partners, Clients, and General Business Community)
UN Sustainable Development Goals

Indirect Impact & Influence

Influencing and impacting clients, the general business community, and communities through BrownFlynn's services and thought leadership.
Boundary
External (Clients; Communities where BrownFlynn and clients operate)
UN Sustainable Development Goals

Economic Performance

Direct economic value generated and distributed through employee compensation, payments to capital providers or governments (taxes), donations/investments in local communities, and retained earnings; and coverage of the company's 401(k) "safe harbor" and discretionary contributions.
Boundary
Internal
UN Sustainable Development Goals

Procurement Practices/Supplier Selection

Adhering to standards to use environmentally and socially preferable alternatives; incorporating suppliers' codes and practices as part of BrownFlynn's decision process.
Boundary
Internal

Recruiting & Retention

Providing meaningful work and professional growth opportunities including training, development plans, and coaching; offering competitive benefits packages, including SRI options in 401(k); and managing turnover by hiring right the first time.
Boundary
Internal
UN Sustainable Development Goals

Professional Development

Providing training; obtaining credentials in market-recognized standards; serving on nonprofit boards.
Boundary
Internal; External (Marketing Partners and Communities)
UN Sustainable Development Goals

Community Engagement & Volunteerism

Serving on nonprofit boards, volunteering, participating in community engagement efforts, etc.
Boundary
Internal; External (Communities)
UN Sustainable Development Goals

Client Privacy

Breaches of client privacy and losses of client data; sharing information about what clients are doing/have done without appropriate permissions.
Boundary
Internal; External (Clients)

Diversity

Promoting diversity (gender, ethnic, cultural, generational, etc.) among BrownFlynn's employee population.
Boundary
Internal

Equal Remuneration for Women & Men

Ratio of salary of men to women by employee category.
Boundary
Internal

Occupational Health & Safety

Availability of ergonomic workstations, coaching for proper positioning and workstation configuration to prevent and mitigate repetitive motion injuries.
Boundary
Internal

Transport

Business travel and employee commutes.
Boundary
Internal
UN Sustainable Development Goals

Emissions

Greenhouse gas emissions, fine particulate matter released into the air, and toxic air emissions.
Boundary
Internal

Energy

Direct and indirect energy consumption as well as energy saved due to conservation and efficiency improvements.
Boundary
Internal

Materials Used

Office supplies, furniture, electronics, coffee pods, etc.
Boundary
Internal; External (Suppliers)

Effluents & Waste

Electronic waste (e-waste), paper, food/coffee, etc.
Boundary
Internal

Water Usage

Reducing the total water withdrawn and being responsible about the impact on water sources.Using recycled and lower quality water whenever possible.
Boundary
Internal

Relative Priority of Sustainability Topics

Through our materiality assessment, BrownFlynn identified 18 important topics. This report covers the seven topics identified as the most significant to BrownFlynn and our stakeholders, shown at the right of the matrix below. Scroll over each topic to read its description and boundary.
 
Click on a topic in the matrix to learn more.
1
Walk the Talk
2
Thought Leadership
3
Indirect Impact
& Influence
4
Economic
Performance
5
Procurement
Practices/Supplier
Selection
1
Recruiting
& Retention
2
Professional
Development
3
Community Engagement
& Volunteerism
4
Client Privacy
5
Diversity
6
Equal Remuneration
for Women & Men
7
Occupational Health
& Safety
1
Transport
2
Emissions
3
Energy
4
Materials Used
5
Effluents & Waste
6
Water Usage
Significance to BrownFlynn
Importance to Stakeholders

G4-23

Our 2014 materiality assessment identified several topics that, for a firm of our size, do not meet the threshold for reporting. Most of the environmental topics fell below the threshold; therefore, this report does not cover energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, waste and recycling, and water consumption. Based on feedback from stakeholders in 2014 and a growing employee base traveling for client work and daily commutes, transport (an outlier among the environmental topics and not a tier one topic) warrants coverage in the 2015-2016 reporting period. We recognize our refreshed materiality assessment in 2017 could unveil topic and prioritization changes for our next report.