Until now no widely accepted method for the assessment of the sustainability of bridges exists and the results of different attempts scatter in a wide range. A common understanding which of the possible impacts during the lifetime of a bridge are most relevant and which are not is still missing. Nevertheless rules and codes are already available for select aspects and first assessment methods have been established. This paper gives a short overview of recent developments in regulations and research activities regarding sustainability assessments of steel bridges. It also highlights major aspects for the evaluation of the sustainability of bridges in comparison to the sustainability assessment of buildings. Not only is the motivation for the sustainability assessment different, but also the necessity of incorporating external effects, which has to be considered in case of bridges. Further difficulties concerning the design of assessment systems are discussed. At the end of the paper the results of an engineer competition for sustainable bridge design are presented.