For the relative ranking of countries, qualitative and quantitative social, economic and environmental factors are assessed.  Some, such as the Global Country ESG Index and the Global Corruption Index, rank countries in terms of economic and commercial factors.  Others, such as the Commitment to Development Index, the Democracy Index, and the Human Freedom Index, rank the civil liberties of countries.

The Sustainable Development Report provides an overall sustainable development (SDG) performance ranking of UN member states.  The Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) monitors the climate mitigation efforts of 60 countries worldwide – GHG emissions, renewable energy, energy use, and climate policy.

The Paris Agreement, UN SDG 11 of the 2030 Agenda, and the New Urban Agenda all serve as national urban policy frameworks for sustainable urban development and tools for their localization.  While each country is responsible for the local implementation of the agreements, local governments are responsible for the implementation of SDG 11.

For the assessment of global cities, various indexes rank the qualitative and qualitative factors.  Some rank them in terms of their human-centric achievements, the inherent social and lifestyle benefits they offer, their relative quality of life, or the total progress towards their achieving all 17 UN SDGs.  Others rank the prosperity, corruption, cost of living, availability of technology applications, and potential for success of the cities.

Company rankings focus on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.  They are provided by various ESG rating agencies, with assessments based on their proprietary models.  This leads to great discrepancy in their measuring the ESG risk in the performance of companies.

There is no global definition of ESG and no standardized metrics, thus making ESG ratings inconsistent.  Moreover, the ratings are not target-oriented or process-focused.  Nor do they assess the company’s positive or negative impacts on the environment or society.