Through BrownFlynn’s services and thought leadership, we recognize we influence and impact clients, communities, and other businesses. We pride ourselves on meeting our clients where they are in their sustainability journeys, and tailor our approaches to the culture of each organization. We continue to expand our offerings and increase our subject matter expertise in services that create sustained impact for our clients and partners. These include materiality and goal-setting, governance mapping, GRI G4 and Standards reporting, ESG ratings and rankings support, peer benchmarking, CDP and DJSI response, and more.

Our Expertise



We have seen how a materiality assessment and goal-setting session can have tangible and profound impacts on a company’s bottom line through our work with our clients. Companies have made improvements in tracking ESG data to better respond to voluntary questionnaires such as CDP and DJSI, dramatically increasing their scores and becoming industry leaders. We have further educated ourselves on the latest non-financial reporting frameworks and standards to ensure our clients are ahead of the game. In short, we have built upon the work we did during our last reporting period and have taken our clients to the next level in corporate sustainability and governance performance and leadership.

Our 2014 stakeholder interviews uncovered an opportunity to increase our impact with clients. While BrownFlynn had previously worked to minimize business travel to curb emissions, clients and other stakeholders had vastly different opinions regarding BrownFlynn’s business travel—while many stakeholders emphasized the need to minimize travel, clients overwhelmingly expressed the importance of face-to-face meetings. Since then, BrownFlynn has seized the opportunity to meet more clients in person at key points during a project. We also utilize teleconferencing and videoconferencing throughout projects to strengthen the client relationship.

While we have increased our client travel for project milestones since our last report, we have worked internally, as well as with local public entities, to minimize our impacts on daily transport to and from the office. For more information, please visit the Partner for Sustained Value…Through Environmental Stewardship section of the report.

Partnerships, Memberships, & Certifications

We are proud to work in partnership with countless like-minded organizations, working together to help companies embed responsible business practices into their overall strategy. In addition, as the first U.S.-certified training partner of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the first GRI GOLD Community Member (Mike Wallace is the North America Community Leader) as well as an inaugural Advisory Partner to the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board, we are advocates for transparent reporting in accordance with globally accepted sustainability standards. In 2016, we formalized a strategic partnership with Sustainserv, a Zurich- and Boston-based corporate sustainability, analytics, and communications firm, to leverage complementary capabilities to give corporations access to a comprehensive and expanded library of sustainability services in North America, Europe, and Asia.


Strategic Partnerships

During the 2015-2016 reporting period we entered into the following strategic partnerships:

    • EcoVadis: BrownFlynn is the only U.S. training partner with the leader in sustainability ratings for supply chains to bring training and consulting services to North American companies to optimize their response to the EcoVadis evaluation, and to improve their sustainability performance and practices.

    • World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD): As Chair of the new ESG Ratings and Rankings Working Group, BrownFlynn collaborates with WBCSD to bring unique sustainability developments and perspectives to WBCSD members. Our expertise in the financial markets, ratings and rankings, sustainable purchasing, and reporting are provided to WBCSD members through collaborative programming.

We have also maintained our partnerships with Nasdaq, Ethisphere, RepRisk, eRevalue, and Trucost (now a part of S&P Dow Jones Indices.)


Strategic Memberships & Associations
  • American Bar Association’s Sustainability Task Force

  • Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG)

  • Center for Health & Safety Sustainability, Advisory Board

  • City of Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson’s Sustainability Advisory Council

  • Cleveland Climate Action Fund, Advisory Committee Member

  • Committee on Sustainability Ratings (COSR), Microsoft Initiative – Inaugural Committee Chair

  • Cornerstone Capital Inc., Global Advisory Committee

  • Corporate Sustainability Network, Cleveland State University

  • Epoch Pi, LLC – Advisory Board Member

  • Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment (US SIF)

  • Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) – Organizational Stakeholder, GOLD Community Member

  • GreenCityBlueLake Institute, Advisory Board Member

  • International Association of Business Communicators (IABC)

  • Net Impact

  • National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI)

  • Rockefeller Foundation’s Impact Sourcing Initiative, Steering Committee

  • Society for Corporate Governance

  • U.N. Global Compact Signatory

  • United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchange Guidance Advisory Group Member

  • U.S. Business Council for Sustainable Development (US BCSD) – Founding Member

  • World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), ESG Ratings & Rankings Working Group – Acting Chair



We also have the following certifications:

  • Cleveland Small Business (CSB), Female Business Enterprise (FBE), and Local Producer Enterprise (LPE) by the City of Cleveland

  • Small Business Enterprise (SBE) by Cuyahoga County Office of Procurement and Diversity

  • Ohio Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Unified Certification Program (UCP.) Under the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), BrownFlynn’s certification as a DBE under UCP allows us to participate as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise on federally assisted projects and/or contracts.


Indirect Impact & Influence
Indicators & Performance

BrownFlynn influences and impacts clients, the general business community, and communities where we and our clients operate. Our services enable our clients to have a positive sustainable impact on their employees, the community, and the environment.

Key Performance Indicators 2013 Performance 2014 Performance 2015 Performance 2016 Performance
Number of active clients 34 36 35 43
Average client tenure 3.00 2.89 2.64 2.73
Number of client engagements 63 50 71 94
Number of companies trained 167 292 581 623