Sustainability Strategy

Americans emit more than one pound of CO2e per person every 15 minutes.10

Environmental Stewardship

As environmental sustainability continues to grow and significantly impact personal and business decisions around the globe, our conviction to improve our own performance is stronger than ever. Although some of our greatest examples of advancing environmental sustainability are through our client work, we also strive to respect the environment with our internal operations. Our environmental footprint may be small, but we believe everything we can do to conserve energy, reduce waste and use less water counts.

The Environmental Stewardship Team created the following goals for our Firm:

  1. 1. Create and implement an environmental policy.
  2. 2. Create a sustainable purchasing policy.

Sustainable Purchasing and Supply Chain

In 2011, we will begin to follow our Sustainable Purchasing Policy that was created as a result of our goals set in BrownFlynn’s last sustainability report. During this reporting year, we gave preference to sustainable purchasing options for office supplies and marketing materials—products made of partially or all post-consumer recycled content. For example, BrownFlynn's printed marketing materials are created using Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified and carbon neutral products and we use recycled paper for all our day-to-day printing projects. In addition, we prefer to purchase cleaning and landscaping materials with minimal environmental impacts.

Going forward, we believe our formal policy which contains a clear system for evaluating and selecting products, will allow us to be more effective in tracking and improving our environmental impact. We also believe that part of bringing the highest value possible to clients includes choosing local suppliers who understand and respond to environmental and social concerns. We currently select our vendors based on location, cost, and environmental and social performance.

Energy Use

Although our energy footprint is relatively small (given the size of the building we occupy and limited use of major energy consuming devices), the global energy and climate change crisis presents opportunities to reduce costs and risks associated with dependence on fossil fuels. We aspire to lessen our energy-related impacts through individual behavior at our office and investment in alternative energy.

To lower our carbon footprint, BrownFlynn is currently taking part in EcovationsTM, a renewable energy program offered by our natural gas supplier, Dominion East Ohio and supplied by Integrys Energy Services, Inc. Through this program, the carbon dioxide emitted by burning eight percent of the natural gas we use each year is offset by sourcing gas from renewable alternatives and by purchasing carbon offsets. In addition, we updated one of our two air conditioning units from a SEER 11 to a SEER 13 model. The efficiency of air conditioners is often rated by the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) which is defined by the Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute in its standard ARI 210/240, Performance Rating of Unitary Air-Conditioning and Air-Source Heat Pump Equipment. This change allowed BrownFlynn a potential energy reduction of 14.4%. Also, the new unit takes a different type of refrigerant which is compliant with EPA standards.

We practice small energy conservation steps daily by shutting down all computers and power sources at the end of the work day, lowering the thermostat in the winter, turning off lights every time we leave a room, and making use of natural light whenever possible. We have also exchanged inefficient lighting for newer technologies and have ongoing discussion on ways we could reduce our consumption.

To factor out seasonal variation, we evaluate the rolling 12-month average kWh consumed. In June of 2008, our 12-month average was close to 2,400 kWh. By June of 2010, our 12-month average had fallen to 1,900, or more than 20%. In this reporting period (July 2009 – June 2010), consumption fell from 2,200 to 1,900, or 13%.

For an office our size, one of the critical factors in consumption is head count. While we do not have clear data demonstrating which consumption drivers are fixed and which are variable, we evaluated the rolling 12-month average consumption data against total head count. In June of 2008, kWh per FTE was nearly 275. By June of 2010, we have reduced this number to less than 225 kWh per FTE, a reduction of 20%.


Carbon emissions associated with employee transportation and business travel, possibly our most significant environmental impact, is an area where BrownFlynn has an opportunity to improve practices. In the past year, we made important steps to encourage telecommuting (30% of our staff works at least one day a week from their home offices) and have reduced travel through communications technology upgrades and a company-wide conversion from desktops to portable laptop computers.

BrownFlynn Learning Training Events

While conducting our two-day, GRI-certified training course, we have adopted many sustainable practices to lessen our impact on the environment, including:

Waste and Recycling

Standard office waste represents another of our relatively significant environmental impacts. Presently, we provide recycling options for basic office waste and continue to upgrade our receptacles to include signage listing the kinds of waste that can and cannot be recycled. Raising awareness with our team members has encouraged all of us to be more conscious about what gets thrown away. We’ve reduced the amount of waste we produce in the office by switching from paper towels to cloth hand towels; using silverware and ceramic dinnerware instead of plastic and paper plates (any disposable dinnerware used is biodegradable) and recycling all plastic/glass/aluminum cans, paper, cardboard and newspaper. As mentioned before, we also try to buy in bulk to reduce the amount of packaging that goes to the landfill.

To gain a better understanding of our waste stream and opportunities to reduce the amount going to a landfill, BrownFlynn conducted a waste audit for the 2008/2009 sustainability report. Using those numbers as a baseline, BrownFlynn can report that in this reporting period we did reduce waste and increase the amount of recycled items in the office.

The audit estimated the volume of each category below in gallons. We used the U.S. Department of Environmental Quality's volume-to-weight conversion factors to estimate the total weight of each category. We measured recycled materials separately using the same process.



Finally, based on our internal records and tracking systems, BrownFlynn can report the following changes to our overall environmental footprint:

Please note: We did increase our staff size in 2009/2010 reporting year.