The Raters Response

Rate the Raters: Phase Five

27 Mar 2013 – Report

It’s Your Turn to Rate the Raters

In this final piece of Rate the Raters Phase 5, we publish the responses from a number of sustainability raters to a questionnaire we posed to them. We do this to promote greater transparency and to provide users – companies, investors and others – a better understanding of how these ratings work. SustainAbility has not edited or evaluated the content of these documents. Instead, we want our readers to use this information, and the methodology we developed in Phase 3, to form their own opinions. We want to hear from readers on the good practices that should be disseminated and opportunities for further improvement.

Since initiating our Rate the Raters work in 2010, we have learned a great deal about ratings, and have seen a number of improvements. For example, just last week CDP and RobecoSAM announced a collaboration in which the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices will ask the same climate change questions asked by the CDP. This streamlining addresses a common company complaint (i.e. duplicative questions) and is something we’ve advocated for in our work.

Yet, new ratings continue to pop up, for example over the last several months we have seen the launch of Oxfam’s Behind the Brands Scorecard, the Access to Nutrition Index and The Civic 50. Without judging the objectives and approaches of these and other ratings, it’s important that their founders consider the sort of questions we have posed in our survey, and consider how their ratings are advancing the corporate sustainability agenda, rather than adding additional burden and complexity to it. For these ratings and others not included on our website, we will request responses to our questionnaire.

We encourage our readers to review these responses through the lens of our methodology (which is also available for download below) and engage ratings organizations. Tell them where they are doing good work, and advocate for change. SustainAbility will remain active in the ratings agenda, as we believe they are critical tools in improving corporate sustainability performance. We will continue to press for greater transparency and quality, for example in advising the Global Initiative for Sustainability Ratings, and we will engage the raters with which we have developed constructive relationships over the last several years.

As always, we welcome your perspectives and ideas on how to advance the ratings agenda, Michael Sadowski –

  • Rate the Raters: Phase 3 - Methodology PDF - 333 kB Download
  • Access to Medicine Index PDF - 345 kB Download
  • CDP Scoring Methodology PDF - 196 kB Download
  • Climate Counts PDF - 192 kB Download
  • Corporate Responsibility Magazine PDF - 264 kB Download
  • CSRHub PDF - 295 kB Download
  • Dow Jones Sustainability indices PDF - 307 kB Download
  • EcoVadis PDF - 256 kB Download
  • EIRIS PDF - 490 kB Download
  • FTSE4Good ESG Ratings PDF - 538 kB Download
  • FTSE4Good Index Series PDF - 521 kB Download
  • Global 100 PDF - 517 kB Download
  • GoodGuide PDF - 295 kB Download
  • Maplecroft Climate Innovation Indexes PDF - 355 kB Download
  • Newsweek Green Rankings PDF - 349 kB Download
  • Oekom Research AG PDF - 339 kB Download
  • Sustainalytics PDF - 294 kB Download
  • Trucost Environmental Register PDF - 260 kB Download
  • Tomorrows Value Rating PDF - 217 kB Download
  • Vigeo PDF - 431 kB Download

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