Our 2014 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 higher standard as a sustainability and corporate responsibility consultancy. Our stakeholders believe that BrownFlynn dramatically enhances credibility by undergoing the same activities we recommend to our clients. One interviewed stakeholder stated, “You can’t lead where you aren’t willing to go.” Given our size as an organization, our greatest impact is through our clients, and we need to maintain our credibility as a sustainability consulting firm to increase our impact with clients.

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 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-level 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 understand 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.

Our external stakeholders expect BrownFlynn to follow sustainable purchasing guidelines. 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 used our sustainable purchasing policy to guide us in furnishing and decorating our new offices at Terminal Tower in downtown Cleveland, Ohio. Much of our office interior dates back to 1928, and in designing the layout of our new home we were careful to preserve as much of the historic character as possible. We enlisted a local firm, Vocon, to design our new space, and used local contractors during renovations. We sourced new materials and furnishings locally whenever feasible. BrownFlynn purchased much of our office furniture from Herman Miller, which has a strong corporate focus on sustainability.


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.

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