This paper presents a generic approach for selecting sustainability criteria and indicators (C&I) by using a participatory methodology. Selecting appropriate C&I to assess the sustainability of projects or developments is crucial and significantly influences the assessment results. The methodology, which consists of two processes: a pre-selection of suitable C&I by the researchers and a final selection by regional bioenergy experts in a multi-stakeholder forum, was applied in a Scottish region (Tayside & Fife).The paper concludes that the methodology provides a transferable approach to systematically select C&I and to justify this selection. Furthermore, the pre-selected and final C&I for the case study can serve as a benchmark set and starting point for similar decision making situations in other regions. In order to provide a wide application potential for the bioenergy field, the case study took account of a range of scenarios and alternatives. Moreover, the identified C&I and requirements for selection from literature provide a broad application potential to assist C&I selection, as they cover the sustainability field in general, the energy sector and the bioenergy sector in particular.