Material Input Per Service Unit - Scope and Limitations of The MIPS Method

Scope and Limitations of The MIPS Method

The MIPS method measures the life-cycle wide material inputs required to produce a product or service. The MIPS method doesn’t straightforwardly measure waste, pollution and other negative outputs produced by the human economy. However, all material inputs become outputs of the economy at some point, and when inputs are reduced also negative outputs like waste will decrease. MIPS provides a rough but easily understandable tool to measure overall volume and efficiency of resource use. Røpke 2001: 130 states: “As the number of pollution problems is very large, it is difficult to construct reasonable indicators for overall environmental impact from the output side. The focus on inputs is thus a way to avoid drowning in detail.” Since MIPS does not take into account for instance ecotoxicity of materials and processes it should be used together with other methods taking into account these issues.

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