Material flow analyses can also be performed on the micro level, i.e. single products, technologies or companies. The most important material flow-based indicator on the product level is material input per service unit (MIPS). It was proposed as an indicator to estimate the overall environmental stress potential of goods and services.
MIPS measures the aggregated inputs caused by the creation of one unit of a specific service. It is a life-cycle wide indicator and incorporates the material input (MI) over the entire lifespan from manufacturing, processing, packaging, operating, re-using, recycling, re-manufacturing to disposal. MIPS is particularly useful to compare the material requirements associated with the provision of a service unit by different products or technologies.