As a rule, stakeholders are interested in how sustainability can be implemented and evaluated by companies. However, since they usually lack the specific know-how to assess the performance presented, they are reluctant to rely on assessments by independent third parties. In addition to the usual analyst reports, various sustainability ratings and rankings can also be used. In terms of content, some rankings assess sustainability performance on the basis of indicators, while others only assess reporting.
The most important reporting ranking in Germany is carried out every two years by IÖW/future. Assessments of the sustainability performance of companies are carried out, for example, by oekom research or the imug Institute. Important international ratings include the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, the British FTSE4Good Index and the Swiss Sustainable Asset Management (SAM) Index. These are of great importance in the market as they anchor the sustainability aspect in the investment behaviour of the financial markets.