Good practices for credible benchmarking

Benchmarks are widely used to assess and qualify sustainability standards, certifications, corporate policies or other initiatives. To ensure the quality, transparency, robustness and alignment of benchmarking processes, ISEAL has developed the Sustainability Benchmarking Good Practice Guide through a global consultation. 


Benchmarking is the assessment of multiple sustainability standards (VSS), policies, tools or company performance against fixed reference points, 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 more consistent, accurate, transparent and robust benchmarking, ISEAL has developed a Good Practice 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 smart-mix policies for sustainable production and consumption.

Consultation on sustainability benchmarking practices

ISEAL conducted a global consultation in 2019. Experts and practitioners with experience in developing, using, and contributing to benchmarks were engaged and shared a range of views on good practices and practical challenges. The consultation consisted of several roundtable discussions, an online survey, webinars, and in-depth interviews. To learn more about the project, contact us at

Resources and material

Download the latest version of the Good Practice Guide (v.1), the Good Practice Checklist, and further project materials through the links on the right.


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