Sustainable Products & Material Flows

Ran Liu

Senior Researcher

Special Expertise

Main areas of research:

  • Sustainable consumption, products, services and companies
  • Life cycle assessments and carbon footprints for the evaluation and optimisation of products, processes and technologies


  • Technical and ecological assessment of products and processes with a focus on ICT (information and communication technology)


  • Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) & material flow analysis
  • Product Carbon Footprint (PCF)
  • Corporate Carbon Footprint (CCF)

Key Projects

  • Comparative Life Cycle Assessment of Menstrual Products
  • Impacts of the digital transformation on the environment and sustainability
  • Impacts of the digital transformation on the environment and sustainability, issue paper under Task 3 from the “Service contract on future EU environment policy”
  • Data collection on the environmental impact of cloud computing (eco-cloud computing) on the basis of a life-cycle approach 
  • Key data and indicators for the assessment of the efficiency of resource use in data centres and for testing the practical feasibility
  • Ecological and economical aspects in a comparison of desktop computers intended to be used by public authorities, under consideration of the user behaviour
  • Establishing a data base for the evaluation of ecological and economic effects of ICT products
  • Accounting for a company's information and communication technologies or devices and services using the PEF method
  • SMART 2012/0064 – Study on the practical application of the new framework methodology for measuring the environmental impact of ICT – cost-benefit analysis
  • SMART 2011/0073 – Towards an overall measurement methodology of the carbon and energy footprints of the ICT sector
  • Technical support for the revision of the European Ecolabel criteria: Televisions
  • Life cycle assessment of concrete ceilings
  • Blue Angel: Development of procurement principles for the product groups mobile phones, disposable nappies and room air conditioners
  • Certification of low-carbon product groups in China and Germany, in cooperation with China Environmental United Certification Center (CEC)
  • Savings potentials through a newly developed washing machine with automatic dosing system
  • Timely replacement of a notebook under consideration of environmental aspects – life-cycle analysis using the data basis of the EuP preparatory study, ProBas, and Ecoinvent
  • Study on rare earths and their recycling
  • Product carbon footprint analysis of five different selected fish products (GTZ)
  • Product carbon footprint of green coffee – case study “Tchibo Privat Kaffee Rarity Machare”
  • Critical review of carbon footprint of drinking milk, bread and potatoes by Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) Austria
  • Technical support for the product category rule (PCR) development for green coffee

Professional Training and Career

  • Since 2007: Researcher at Öko-Institut, Sustainable Products & Material Flows Division 
  • 2006-2007: Researcher at Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegation (Fraunhofer IZM), Environmental Engineering in cooperation with Technische Universität (TU) Berlin
  • 2005-2006: Internship and diploma thesis at Siemens AG, Berlin
  • 2005: Student Assistant at Green Delta GmbH, Berlin
  • 2004-2005: Student Assistant at Institute of Environmental Technology at TU Berlin
  • 2001-2006: Diploma studies in Environmental Engineering, Technische Universität (TU) Berlin; degree: Dipl.-Ing. (Diploma Engineer)

Language Skills

Chinese (mother tongue), German, English


Ran Liu