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:
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)
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
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.
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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.
Relative Priority of Sustainability Topics
Walk the Talk
Indirect Impact & Influence
Procurement Practices/Supplier Selection
Recruiting & Retention
Community Engagement & Volunteerism
Equal Remuneration for Women & Men
Occupational Health & Safety
Effluents & Waste
Significance to BrownFlynn
Importance to Stakeholders
In our 2011–2012 sustainability report, we covered several topic areas—impact and influence with clients and community; professionalism and dedication to sustainability; employee work-life balance; relevance in the marketplace as a thought leader and champion of sustainability; and integrity and staying true to our values. For our 2014 materiality assessment, we shifted or redefined report topics. Thought leadership remains a material topic for BrownFlynn; we also continue to report on impact and influence. Professionalism and dedication to sustainability evolved to professional development, and work-life balance expanded to recruiting and retention. This year we also discuss community engagement and volunteerism, and economic performance.
Report Topics Comparison
2011–2012 Report Topics
2013–2014 Report Topics
Impact and influence with clients and community
Indirect Impact and Influence
Professionalism and dedication to sustainability
Employee work-life balance
Recruiting and Retention
Relevance in the marketplace as a thought leader and champion of sustainability
Thought Leadership, Walk the Talk
Integrity and staying true to our values
Community Engagement and Volunteerism
Our 2014 materiality assessment identified several topics that, for a firm of our size, do not meet the threshold for reporting. Therefore this report does not cover energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, waste and recycling, and water consumption.
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Statement from the most senior decision-maker of the organization about relevance of sustainability to the organization and the organization’s strategy for addressing sustainability
Name of the organization
Primary brands, products, and services
Location of organization’s headquarters
Number of countries where the organization operates, and names of countries with significant operations or that are specifically relevant to the sustainability topics covered in the report
Nature of ownership and legal form
Scale of the reporting organization
Total workforce by employment type, employment contract, and region, broken down by gender
Percentage of total employees covered by collective bargaining agreements
Description of the organization’s supply chain
Significant changes during the reporting period regarding organization's size, structure, ownership, or supply chain
Whether and how the precautionary approach or principle is addressed by the organization
Externally developed economic, environmental, and social charters, principles, or other initiatives to which the organization subscribes or endorses
Memberships in associations and/or national/international advocacy organizations
Entities included in the organization consolidated financial and nonfinancial reports
Process for defining report content
Material aspects identified in the process for defining report content
For each material aspect, the aspect boundary within the organization
For each material aspect, the aspect boundary outside the organization
Explanation of the effect of and reasons for any restatements of information provided in earlier reports
Significant changes from previous reporting periods in the scope and aspect boundaries
List of stakeholder groups engaged by the organization
The basis for identification and selection of stakeholders with whom to engage
The organization’s approach to stakeholder engagement, including frequency of engagement by type and by stakeholder group, and an indication of whether any of the engagement was undertaken specifically as part of the report preparation process
Key topics and concerns that have been raised through stakeholder engagement, and how the organization has responded to those key topics and concerns, including through its reporting. Report the stakeholder groups that raised each of the key topics and concerns
Date of most recent previous report
Contact point for questions regarding the report or its contents
‘In accordance’ option and GRI Content Index
Policy and current practice with regard to seeking external assurance for the report
Governance structure of organization, including committees of the highest governance body
The organization’s values, principles, standards, and norms of behavior such as codes of conduct and codes of ethics
Disclosure on Management Approach for Aspect
Coverage of the organization’s defined benefit plan obligations.
Financial assistance received from government.
Significant indirect economic impacts, including the extent of impacts.
Total number and rates of new employee hires and employee turnover by age group, gender and region.
Average hours of training per year per employee, by gender and by employee category.
Percentage of employees receiving regular performance and career development reviews, by gender and by employee category.