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Media 11 Sep 2012

Experts Using Sustainability Ratings for Information, not Action

Over the last decade we have seen extraordinary growth in the number of ratings, rankings and awards that seek to measure corporate sustainability performance. Companies have struggled to keep track of the growing number of ratings and every year are investing more time and effort into responding to raters’ requests for information with little clarity on how ratings and rankings are being used, or indeed if they are being used at all.

As part of the fifth phase of Rate the Raters a GlobeScan / SustainAbility survey is released today which finds that many ratings are in fact not used that often, and when they are it is mainly just for information: ratings rarely influence actions, including investment decisions.

The survey, similar to one conducted in the second phase of Rate the Raters, polled 850 sustainability experts from 70 countries across multiple sectors.

For full results of the survey click here to watch our video briefing or download the PDF.

Over the next few months we will be shedding further light on how sustainability ratings are used, and will publish:

  • the results of our interviews with nearly 30 companies that are using and getting value from ratings
  • the results of a survey of and interviews with mainstream investors on how they perceive and use ratings and sustainability information more broadly
  • disclosure of raters’ responses to a questionnaire developed during the fourth phase of Rate the Raters with an accompanying view on the current ratings agenda.


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