Sustainable Products & Material Flows

Carl-Otto Gensch

Head of Division

Special Expertise

Main areas of research:

  • Sustainability assessment of technologies and corporate strategies
  • Structural transformation and industrial policy
  • Shaping socio-ecological transformation processes in practice


  • Support for technology development projects
  • Electrical and electronic equipment: technology and product assessment, waste legislation issues, RoHS, ELV, WEEE, hazardous substances in products
  • Information and communication technologies, environmental impacts of digitalisation


  • Product Sustainability Assessment (PROSA/PLA)
  • LCA & material flow analyses, PCF, PEF
  • Eco-efficiency analyses
  • LCC
  • Cost-benefit analyses (CBA)

Key Projects

  • Factual accuracy of AI-generated content
  • Holistic management of energy and resource efficiency in companies (MERU)
  • Germany on the way to climate neutrality: What opportunities and risks result from digitalisation?
  • Strategies for ecologically driven structural change towards a Green Economy
  • Trafo 3.0 – Governance model for socio-ecological transformation processes in practice: development and testing in three areas of application
  • Transition to a Green Economy: Necessary structural changes for and enablers of a viable implementation in Germany
  • Investigation of life time and replacement strategies of Miele household appliances
  • Studies for the review of the list of substance restrictions and for the assessment of exemption requests under the European RoHS Directive

Professional Training and Career

  • Since 2001: Head of Sustainable Products & Material Flows Division
  • Since 1990: Researcher at Öko-Institut, Sustainable Products & Material Flows Division
  • 1982-1988: Diploma studies in Process Engineering at Technical University of Munich and Hamburg University of Technology; degree: Dipl.-Ing. (Univ.) (Diploma Engineer)

Language Skills

  • English


Carl-Otto Gensch