Our materiality assessment identified “Walk the Talk” as the single most important issue for BrownFlynn’s external stakeholders, who stated that BrownFlynn should be held to a high standard as a corporate sustainability and governance consultancy. Our stakeholders believe that BrownFlynn dramatically enhances credibility by undergoing the same activities we recommend to our clients. Given our organizational size, we generate the greatest impact through our clients, and we need to maintain our credibility as a corporate sustainability and governance consulting firm to increase our impact with them.

Across our entire operation and particularly within each client interaction, we aim to “walk the talk,” demonstrating subject matter expertise and best practices through our own experience. To better advise our clients on materiality, we undertook our own materiality assessment in 2014 that included value chain impact mapping, stakeholder identification and engagement, and a customized weighting analysis. For more information, refer to BrownFlynn’s materiality assessment.

This G4 Core option report demonstrates our commitment to enhancing transparency with our stakeholders, adhering to the latest GRI standards, and showcasing best practices in online reporting for a small/medium enterprise. By producing our own G4 report, we more fully understood the process and requirements of GRI reporting—including the challenges of data collection—equipping BrownFlynn to provide more meaningful guidance to our clients during their reporting processes. Because the world of sustainability and reporting is ever-changing, GRI issued new Standards in late 2016. Upon issuance, BrownFlynn and partner firm Sustainserv sponsored a Launch Event to help guide individuals and organizations through the benefits of the new GRI Standards, as well as any changes from the G4 Guidelines. We also offered a GRI Transition to Standards open enrollment course in 2016 for anyone who could not attend a Launch Event, and have courses scheduled for 2017. BrownFlynn will be transitioning to the Standards with our next sustainability report.

Our Sustainable Purchasing Policy requires us to meet several environmental, social, and economic criteria in our purchasing decisions. In making such decisions, we review cost and performance in addition to choosing products and services with at least one of the following sustainability factors:

  • Aligns with socially responsible practices, such as human rights and labor practices of suppliers

  • Promotes health and wellness, such as non-toxic and chemical free products; low or no content of hydrogenated oils, unsaturated (trans) fat, high fructose corn syrup

  • Aligns with environmental responsibility, such as recycled input material

  • Locally produced (within a 150 mile radius)

  • Third-party certification, such as Energy Star, LEED, Fair Trade, USDA certified organic

In 2014, we designed and furnished our offices at Terminal Tower in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, using a local design firm (Vocon) and a sustainability-focused furniture company (Herman Miller.) Much of our office interior dates back to 1928; therefore, in designing the layout of our new home, we were careful to preserve as much of the historic character as possible while creating a touch of modernity with colorful pieces from local artists.


BrownFlynn is a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC.) As such, we report on our progress against The Ten Principles of the UNGC each year. We also have aligned this report with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs.) You can find this alignment in our interactive materiality matrix.

“Walk the Talk”Indicators & Performance
Key Performance Indicators 2013 Performance 2014 Performance 2015 Performance 2016 Performance
Respond annually to the United Nations Global Compact Communication on Progress Submitted annual response in February 2014 Submitted annual response in February 2015 Submitted annual response in February 2016 This report serves as our annual response for 2017
Publish a GRI report every two years N/A Published 2013-2014 G4 Core option report in December 2015 N/A Published 2015-2016 G4 Core option report in April 2017
Conduct a materiality assessment every three years N/A Completed our first robust materiality assessment in December 2014 N/A N/A