The PAIA approach was originally developed around product types or families (as opposed to SKU-level) of IT products, however its application to non-IT products is promising. The PAIA methodology has the potential to improve the scalability of the carbon footprinting process to other products through a simple, scientific process. Through this process, supplier data collection may also be improved, cutting down on the use of redundant supplier questionnaires and standardizing the data collection format.
Examples of products for which streamlined LCA methodologies are under development (notebook computer, LED light bulb, desktop computer, LCD modules, a motor).
Through the ICT Benchmarking Partnership, a research consortium consisting of IT firms, the first PAIA methodology was developed for notebook computers. The notebook methodology is currently under review and will continue to be refined as new data become available. The methodology is being scaled to other IT products that share similar components, desktop computer and LCD monitors.
MIT is working with the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) to extend the PAIA methodology to common electrical products. Similar to many IT products, motors and LED light bulbs are commoditized products that tend to have a uniform set of characteristics. This makes them products of interest for streamlined LCA, providing the opportunity to investigate the broader applicability of the PAIA approach.