My Experience at BrownFlynn

By Erin Murphy

My name is Erin Murphy. For my senior year internship for Aurora High School I worked with BrownFlynn and their Senior Design Consultant, Jennifer Griffith, in the area of graphic design. I learned many new concepts that reinforced and also changed my perception of a career in graphic design. During my time at BrownFlynn, I learned some key things that reinforced my desire to pursue a career in graphic design, including:

  • Working with different Adobe software that I can have fun with
  • Helping different people communicate in a more effective way
  • Not everything in design is fun, but 99% of it is
  • I can work at a place that would allow me to do all different types of design work
  • Every day is different, but the projects will always be interesting and challenging

Also during my internship, I learned some new concepts that changed my perception of a career in graphic design. A couple of examples are:

  • It can be long hours depending on how far away you live from work and how much work you have to do
  • A graphic designer does not only do design, but also has to know the business side of the organization
  • There is a front and back door to design (or the designer and the person who brings those designs to life through coding). It’s hard to do both and do them perfectly.
  • Sometimes you might have a project that you do not necessarily want to do, but you have to do it anyway because it’s your job
  • A lot of responsibility can fall on your shoulders and sometimes a client might want you to do something at the last minute, and you have to be able to adapt and deliver for them

While my internship helped me realized what a true job in graphic design could be, I also know that for now I can just focus on college and enjoy the next few years before entering the workforce myself. Thank you everyone at BrownFlynn for helping me understand what a career in graphic design can really be.

Six reasons to respond to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index survey

By Jessica Urdangarin and Brittany VanderBeek

In the competitive atmosphere of sustainability ratings and rankings, it is easy to get lost in the race to earn the highest scores and be an industry leader.

While the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) provides scores and industry rankings, the actual process of responding can provide tremendous benefits to companies — even for those that do not get listed on one of DJSI’s leadership indices. The DJSI questionnaire is a dynamic and effective tool for companies to manage sustainability and thus financial performance.

BrownFlynn has identified six compelling reasons to respond to the DJSI questionnaire.

To read the full article please visit

How to engage your investors on ESG issues during proxy season and beyond

By Mike Wallace and Sarah Corrigan

Spring brings a new proxy voting season, as shareholders exercise their right to raise issues of importance to company management, the board of directors and fellow shareholders. In recent years, the number of shareholder proposals devoted to environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues have increased at a fast pace. While institutional investors may not be involved in the majority of these proposals, companies should note that institutional consideration of ESG practices has grown significantly.

Last month, the Sustainable Investments Institute, Proxy Impact and As You Sow teamed up to publish their annual guide to proxy season, Proxy Preview 2015. This preview reveals that shareholders have filed 433 resolutions regarding ESG issues (excluding traditional governance proposals) through the middle of February, a slight uptick since the same time last year.

Of those proposals, the greatest proportions pertain to the environment and corporate political activity, at 27 percent and 26 percent, respectively. Many shareholders have withdrawn proposals as the result of corporate action, typically aided by discussions between the filing shareholder and the company’s investor relations team.

To read the full article please visit

Why you should answer the new CDP climate questions

By Cora Lee Mooney and Sarah Corrigan

The 2015 CDP Climate Change questionnaire contains two new unscored questions, and many companies are in the process of determining whether to answer them.

For practitioners who recognize that the value of sustainability reporting lies in the process, this decision should be easy. These practitioners understand that the stages of the reporting process — stakeholder conversations, data collection and response writing — all contribute to refining their company’s sustainability strategy.

CDP highlights the importance of this strategy formulation by launching its two new questions within the Strategy (CC2) section of its questionnaire. This year, responding organizations are asked whether they have an internal price on carbon (CC2.2c) and whether their board of directors would support an international agreement between governments on climate change (CC2.4).

To read the full article please visit

How to start the new data collection conversation

By: Cora Lee Mooney, Director of Learning & Senior Consultant

It is data collection season in the world of sustainability. The reports and questionnaires are due in a few months, and corporate social responsibility professionals are tapping internal data owners for information updates.

This year, however, the arduous company-wide data collection process that occurs is becoming more dynamic for companies making the move to the G4 Guidelines. Specifically, the new requirements for the Disclosure on Management Approach (DMA) in GRI G4 are shifting the course of conversation.

For many companies, the internal process of gathering information for a report section typically was completed by asking data owners for two key elements, the policies and programs in place and the data to demonstrate performance. For example, a disclosure on local spending would identify the definition of “local” used in the corporate policy, and then describe activities and programs implemented over the year to increase the amount of money spent on local suppliers.

To read the full article, please click here.

Top 3 reasons to take your sustainability report online in 2015

By: Jennifer Griffith, Senior Design Consultant

Increased transparency and external reporting are essential for companies. Yet, getting stakeholders to read a company sustainability report and derive value from it is one of the biggest obstacles for corporate responsibility reporting. When done right, online reporting helps to overcome this challenge. Online CR reports are more accessible, engaging and measurable than stand-alone print reports.

1. Report Accessibility

Offering your sustainability report online and supplementing it with additional formats for a variety of readers is the best way for stakeholders to have maximum accessibility to it and thus, greater opportunity to read it. A stand-alone print report limits its accessibility by virtue of its medium; the report is only available to the number of people less than or equal to the printed quantity, and only those who can physically get their hands on it.

In addition to offering your report online, several other supporting formats expand readership.

To read the full article, please visit

The Environmental Employee Engagement (EEE) Roadmap

Engaging employees in the environment is good for business and the environment. BrownFlynn collaborated with TD Bank and the Environmental Defense Fund to create an Environmental Employee Engagement (EEE) Roadmap, enabling others to benefit from the development and implementation of TD Bank’s successful EEE program. Read the whitepaper here!

EEE whitepaper