The website www.materialflows.net was first published in 2006, in the context of a project funded by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management. It aims at providing worldwide data on resource extraction for free download, in order to achieve a wider application of the material flow analysis (MFA) approach. In the course of various follow-up projects the data is continuously updated and improved.
In 2012, a close collaboration with the then independent researcher Monika Dittrich resulted in the expansion of the website with physical material trade data. For the first time, this gives the opportunity to comprehensively show international data on Domestic Material Consumption (DMC) and physical trade balances (PTB). Data is still provided by Ms. Dittrich, now researcher at the Institute for Energy and Environmental research (IFEU).
Further improvements of the database, especially regarding data on unused extraction are achieved thanks to an ongoing cooperation with the Wuppertal Institute.