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. In 2014, we developed a diagram to help our clients and prospective clients better understand our service offerings—providing a clearer sightline to sustainable impact. We give companies the confidence to take action that delivers sustainable value.

Our Expertise



We made great strides in 2014 to help organizations identify and focus on the sustainability issues they should manage to improve environmental, social, and economic performance. We educated organizations on materiality and sustainability impact mapping throughout the value chain, and led many clients through the materiality assessment process to help them identify the most significant sustainability topics. From there, BrownFlynn helps clients set meaningful goals to drive action and results in those areas. For example, Jill Ziegler, Director of Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility at Forest City Enterprises, said BrownFlynn’s work helped “set our direction, gauge how we are doing in the CSR space, track how and when to make changes to our CSR strategy, and most importantly, help us understand where to focus.”

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 utilized teleconferencing and videoconferencing throughout projects to minimize environmental impact while strengthening the client relationship.

BrownFlynn Client Quotes
  • “Business travel provides a tremendous value-add based on the reason for meeting face-to-face.”

  • “The ability to travel to a client and meet face-to-face outweighs the emissions.”

  • “It’s critically important to have an in-person presence when building a relationship and when closing out a project.”

Partnerships, Memberships, & Certifications

We are proud to work in partnership with countless other 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 U.S. GRI Community Partner, we are advocates for comprehensive and transparent reporting in accordance with globally accepted sustainability standards.


Strategic Partnerships

In 2014, we entered into the following strategic partnerships:

  • Ethisphere: We write a bylined article in Ethisphere Magazine, co-host a webcast, and sponsor the Global Ethics Summit.

  • Trucost: This environmental data provider offers insight to help its clients understand the economic consequences of natural capital dependency.

  • RepRisk: This organization provides data and business intelligence about environmental, social, and governance risks related to companies, projects, sectors, and countries.

  • Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship (BCCCC): We entered into a relationship to provide training courses to for-profit organizations across the country.

  • NASDAQ: We produce quarterly webinars aimed at educating NASDAQ-listed companies and other interested participants on the business case for corporate responsibility, sustainability, and non-financial reporting.

  • eRevalue: We provide feedback from both a client and advisory firm perspective to help co-create a business intelligence system for ESG data that is consistent with developing trends in sustainability and corporate responsibility.


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

  • Cornerstone Capital Inc., Global Advisory Committee

  • Corporate Sustainability Network, Cleveland State University

  • Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment (US SIF)

  • Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) – Organizational Stakeholder

  • 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 of Corporate Secretaries and Governance Professionals

  • U.N. Global Compact Signatory

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

BrownFlynn served on the Corporate Responsibility Association (CRA) Advisory Board and also Chaired the Responsible Sourcing Thought Leadership Council and the Ratings & Rankings Thought Leadership Council.



We also have the following certifications:

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

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

  • 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
Number of active clients 34 36
Average client tenure 3.00 2.89
Number of client engagements 63 50
Number of companies trained 167 292