Women Who Achieve: BrownFlynn’s Margie Flynn

Women Who Achieve: BrownFlynn’s Margie Flynn

by -

Margie Flynn, Principal and Co-owner,

Margie Flynn, Principal and Co-owner, BrownFlynn


“PNC predecessor National City has been our roots and anchor over the past 20+ years – first as our employer, and then as our client and financial advisor. They’ve supported us every step of the way, and we’re looking forward to sharing our future with PNC.”


Margie Flynn and Barbara Brown are principals and co-owners of BrownFlynn, a Cleveland-based corporate responsibility and sustainability consulting firm dedicated to guiding corporations in the creation and implementation of socially and environmentally responsible business practices. The firm’s focus is to help clients “do well by doing good” by integrating triple-bottom-line (people, planet and profitability) goals into their business strategies. Here is Margie’s story.


Margie Flynn and PNC


When Barb Brown and I started BrownFlynn in January 1996, we wanted to make a difference in the world, and we saw corporate responsibility and sustainability as a means to do that. We knew, since we had worked as a team managing National City Corporate Communications for six years, that we could count on each other to make that vision a reality.


Early in our business, we focused on advising clients in community relations and strategic philanthropy. Yet, as Barb often says, “What you focus on expands.” So, as we helped our clients become strong corporate citizens, we uncovered environmental issues and opportunities that needed to be integrated into their overall corporate strategy.


The expectation of environmental responsibility grows every day. And as businesses and individuals take an increasingly active role, BrownFlynn helps them develop policies and practices that help our planet, communities and employees become healthier and better prepared for the future.


At the same time, corporations have come to realize that the social aspects of sustainability are critical to their success, and that health and wellness practices, diversity and other vital issues must be addressed. Today, we help clients actively engage their employees and stakeholders in their sustainability efforts.


The Future


In spring 2009, BrownFlynn became the first Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) certified trainers in the United States. GRI is the international gold standard for measuring and reporting organization performance against economic, environmental and social parameters. By following GRI, a company positions itself to stay ahead of regulatory and compliance issues, increases its transparency, spurs innovation and enhances its reputation among key stakeholders.


This opportunity led us to open a new division to educate companies on the benefits of creating a management and reporting system around sustainability. BrownFlynn Learning LLC offers open-enrollment, customized onsite training as well as large-group training at conferences. We’re developing other courses and distribution methods to make the process of learning about sustainability practices and reporting as easy as possible.


The ever-evolving nature of sustainability helps position BrownFlynn for continuing growth. We are strategically planning our future, ensuring we’re appropriately staffed and trained to respond to the upward momentum.


What we’ve accomplished at BrownFlynn has far exceeded our expectations, yet we have much more work to do to realize our dream and make the world a better place. We owe our success to faith and fate – and to loyal business relationships who have supported us over the years, including our former employer and current financial provider, PNC.

This is a special advertising supplement, paid for by PNC Bank.