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Open AccessArticle

Resource Use in the Production and Consumption System—The MIPS Approach

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Research Group Sustainable Production and Consumption, Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy GmbH, P.O. Box 10 04 80, Wuppertal 42004, Germany
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Design Faculty, Folkwang University of the Arts, Klemensborn 39, 45239 Essen, Germany
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Department of Design, Aalto University, Hämeentie 135 C, 00760 Helsinki, Finland
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Faktor 10-Institut für nachhaltiges Wirtschaften gemeinnützige GmbH, Alte Bahnhofstraße 13, 61169 Friedberg, Germany
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Resources 2014, 3(3), 544-574; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources3030544
Received: 1 July 2014 / Revised: 9 July 2014 / Accepted: 21 July 2014 / Published: 28 August 2014
The concept Material Input per Service Unit (MIPS) was developed 20 years ago as a measure for the overall natural resource use of products and services. The material intensity analysis is used to calculate the material footprint of any economic activities in production and consumption. Environmental assessment has developed extensive databases for life cycle inventories, which can additionally be adopted for material intensity analysis. Based on practical experience in measuring material footprints on the micro level, this paper presents the current state of research and methodology development: it shows the international discussions on the importance of accounting methodologies to measure progress in resource efficiency. The MIPS approach is presented and its micro level application for assessing value chains, supporting business management, and operationalizing sustainability strategies is discussed. Linkages to output-oriented Life Cycle Assessment as well as to Material Flow Analysis (MFA) at the macro level are pointed out. Finally we come to the conclusion that the MIPS approach provides relevant knowledge on resource and energy input at the micro level for fact-based decision-making in science, policy, business, and consumption. View Full-Text
Keywords: MIPS (Material Input per Service Unit); resource consumption; natural resources; Material Intensity Analysis; dematerialization; Material Footprint, micro economy; value chain; sustainable production and consumption (SCP) MIPS (Material Input per Service Unit); resource consumption; natural resources; Material Intensity Analysis; dematerialization; Material Footprint, micro economy; value chain; sustainable production and consumption (SCP)
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Liedtke, C.; Bienge, K.; Wiesen, K.; Teubler, J.; Greiff, K.; Lettenmeier, M.; Rohn, H. Resource Use in the Production and Consumption System—The MIPS Approach. Resources 2014, 3, 544-574.

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