Defining good practices for credible benchmarking

Governments, companies and other stakeholders use voluntary standards or similar sustainability tools to realize more responsible and sustainable supply chains. They often use benchmarking or recognition processes to assess and qualify these initiatives. Similarly, benchmarks rank companies for their sustainability performance. To improve the quality, transparency and alignment of these processes, ISEAL is consulting on a draft Sustainability Benchmarking Good Practice Guide. 


Benchmarking is the assessment of multiple voluntary sustainability standards (VSS), policies, tools or companies against a fixed reference point, enabling comparability of their relative scope, coverage, rigour and outcomes. However, current benchmarking practices differ widely, not only between policies or governments, but also between private sector and non-profit benchmarking initiatives.

To ensure consistent, accurate and robust benchmarking, ISEAL has developed a practical guide for organisations who commission or carry out sustainability benchmarks. In particular, the guidance aims to support public policy-making and inform policy design, which will help stimulate the development of advanced smart-mix policies for sustainable production and consumption.

The Consultation is now closed.

The global consultation ran from 1 March to 15 May 2019.

Contact us at for more information about the project.

Resources and material

Download the latest version of the draft guidance (v0.2), the project fact-sheet and related materials through the links on the right. The final guidance will be published in June 2019.


This project is supported by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).