Sustainable Products & Material Flows

Tobias Schleicher

Senior Researcher

Special Expertise

Main areas of research:

  • International cooperation and development policy concepts
  • Resource and waste management
  • Sustainable consumption, products & services


  • Economics and social & environmental standards in global value chains
  • Mineral & biogenic raw materials (focus: Palm oil, cotton & wood)
  • Circular economy in the context of the countries of the Global South (focus: E-waste)
  • Policy instruments in the field of sustainable consumption (focus: Eco-labelling, eco-design, public procurement, contracting), especially on product and service-related energy & resource efficiency
  • Energy efficiency in buildings (focus: Lighting and air-conditioning technology)


  • Stakeholder analyses
  • Expert interviews
  • Train the trainers
  • Focus groups
  • External costs assessment
  • Product Sustainability Assessment (PROSA) and Life Cycle Costing (LCC)
  • SWOT analyses
  • Statistical analyses (econometrics)

Key Projects

Circular economy in the context of the countries of the Global South

  • E-waste compensation as an international financing instrument in Nigeria, 2020-21
  • Sustainable Recycling Industries Ghana (, Phase II, 2019-23
  • Marine litter and microplastics: Promoting the environmentally sound management of plastic wastes and achieving the prevention and minimization of the generation of plastic wastes on behalf of the Secretariats of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm (BRS) Conventions, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
  • Sustainable Recycling Industries Ghana (, Phase I, 2015-18
  • An efficient & effective e-waste collection system for Ethiopia; Consultancy Service for UNIDO within the E-Waste Management Project in Ethiopia (EWAMP), 2014
  • Global circular economy of strategic metals – best-of-two-worlds approach (Bo2W), 2011-2013

Mineral & Biogenic Raw Materials

  • Bioeconomic power in global supply chains – approaches, impacts and perspectives of certification and due diligence for biogenic bulk commodities (bio-power), 2017-2020
  • Environmental and human rights due diligence as an approach to strengthen sustainable corporate governance
  • Substitution of critical raw materials in low-carbon technologies: Lighting, wind turbines and electric vehicles (2015-16)
  • Conflict Raw Materials – inquiry into the Dodd-Frank Act and other possible resource-related measures (2013)

Sustainable consumption, products & services

  • Advance Sustainable Consumption and Production for low a Low-Carbon Economy in middle-Income and Newly Industrialized Countries in South-East Asia (Advance SCP, Phase II)
  • Export of green and sustainable (environmental) infrastructure
  • Extended integration of social aspects in the Blue Angel eco-label
  • Promoting Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) for a Low – Carbon Economy in South-East Asia (ASEAN) (Advance SCP, Phase I)
  • The Blue Angel – a national eco-label with international impact – award criteria for air conditioning equipment and international harmonisation activities
  • Further development of the Blue Angel eco-label: Development of new eco-labels and further development of existing ones in innovation-oriented product groups
  • Sustainable Consumption and Production for Low Carbon Economy – Low Emission Public Procurement and Eco-Labelling (SCP4LCE) – advisory services on eco-labelling in Thailand and the ASEAN-region
  • Influence of the service life of products in terms of their environmental impact: Establishing an information base and developing policies against “obsolescence”
  • Scientific support of the European consumer organisations ANEC / BEUC in the EU ecodesign and energy label process
  • Strengthening the international use of the Blue Angel as a climate protection label
  • Further development of the Blue Angel program through new eco-labels and revision of the existing ones
  • TOP 100 – Ecolabel for climate-relevant products

Professional Training and Career

  • Since 2011: Researcher at Öko-Institut, Sustainable Products & Material Flows Division 
  • 2010-2011: Research assistant of Prof. Peter Hennicke and Junior Research Fellow at the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy in an international major project in coordination with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), UNEP and the International Energy Agency (IEA)
  • 2006-2010: Project Assistant at the Regional Energy Agency Freiburg (Energieagentur Regio Freiburg GmbH)
  • 2006-2007: Research Assistant at Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE), Dep. Energy Technology & Fraunhofer Marketing Network, Freiburg
  • 2005-2006: Academic year abroad, Université de Rennes 1 & Université Rennes 2, France
  • 2002-2009: Diploma studies of Economics, University of Freiburg; degree: Dipl.-Volkswirt (Diploma Economist)

Language Skills

English, French


Tobias Schleicher

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