Hong Kong - Country Commercial Guide
Environmental Technologies

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2022-12-17

Overview 

Trade Statistics 

  

2019 

2020 

2021 

2022 (January-March) 

Total Exports  

2,027 

2,341 

2,215 

448 

Total Imports  

2,003 

2,320

2,335 

486 

Imports from the US  

153 

152 

155

37 

Exchange Rates:  
1USD  

7.8 

7.8 

7.8 

7.8 

Units: USD million 
Data Source: Hong Kong Census & Statistics Department 

(Since there is not an agreed upon definition of “environmental technologies”, and because there is considerable overlap regarding environmental features from various types of machinery and products, market statistics for this sector are, at best, rough approximation.) 

Hong Kong relies heavily on imports to satisfy its environmental technology needs.  In recent years, the Hong Kong government has been allocating significant resources toward tackling environmental issues like waste treatment, air pollution, and water pollution.  The COVID-19 outbreak has also led to demand for clinical waste management solutions.  As a regional business hub, Hong Kong also plays a strong role as a trading platform for environmental products for mainland China and the region.  

The four major decarbonization strategies in Hong Kong’s Climate Action Plan 2050 cover the following targets and measures: 

 Net-zero electricity generation: Cease using coal for daily electricity generation by 2035 and increase the share of renewable energy in the fuel mix for electricity generation, especially through solar technology and potential offshore wind farms. 

  • Energy saving and green buildings: Reduce the overall electricity consumption of buildings through promoting green buildings, improving buildings’ energy efficiency, and promoting a low-carbon lifestyle.  
  • Green transport: Promote the electrification of vehicles, especially public and commercial transportation, develop new-energy transport, and measures to improve traffic management.  
  • Waste reduction: Develop adequate waste-to-energy facilities and move away from reliance on landfills for municipal waste disposal; also, promote recycling and waste reduction, and implement a waste charging program. 

The Climate Action Plan also prioritizes climate adaptation and resilience, namely preparing for more severe tropical cyclones, storm surges, and flooding, as well as rising sea levels and extreme heat or droughts.  In particular, the Hong Kong government seeks to better incorporate climate resilience into building and infrastructure design, building sea walls, and enhance flooding and landslip prevention and drainage management.  Overall, the Hong Kong government is in the process of exploring innovative solutions to a wide variety of climate resilience challenges. 

The Hong Kong government has published in-depth proposals for each of these plans, including:  

  • The Climate Action Plan 2050 
  • The Clean Air Plan 2035 
  • The Roadmap on Popularization of Electric Vehicles 
  • The Waste Blueprint for Hong Kong 2035 

Leading Sub-Sectors   

  • Air quality control and measuring solutions 
  • Waste-to-resource/energy systems and technologies 
  • Advanced refuse transfer station technologies
  • Waste recycling and on-site separation systems using AI sorting technologies
  • High efficiency incinerators and associated technologies
  • Recycling-related products and services  
  • Water and wastewater treatment technologies and equipment 
  • Landfill management/extension and optimization technologies 
  • Smart collection and transportation systems

Opportunities  

Clean air: Air pollution in Hong Kong is mainly attributed to power plants, motor vehicles and marine vessels.  To improve the city’s air quality to a level on par with major international cities before 2035 and to meet targets under the WHO’s AQGs., the Hong Kong government has devised strategies in the “Clean Air Plan for Hong Kong 2035 to tackle current challenges of air quality improvements through different ways such as, adopting green technologies to advance low-carbon transformation, reducing emissions, and increasing regional collaboration to tackle ozone.  

Food waste: In 2021, of the total 3.96 million tons of municipal solid waste, food waste was the largest category, accounting for 30 percent, that is, 3,255 tons per day.  To reduce food waste disposal at landfills, Hong Kong plans to use collected food waste to produce renewable energy using anaerobic digestion as the core technology.  The preliminary proposal is to develop five to six regional large-scale organic resource recovery centers in phases, with a total recycling capacity of about 1,300 to 1,500 kg per day.  In its 2022-23 budget, the Hong Kong government has allocated US$670 million for waste programs in addition to US$130 million injected into the recycling fund to procure advanced equipment and technologies for upgrades and transformations.

Electric equipment: Every year, about 70,000 kg of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) is generated locally in Hong Kong.  As part of the effort to introduce the Waste Producer Responsibility Scheme (WPRS), the Hong Kong government has developed a WEEE treatment and recycling facility, or WEEE·PARK, to provide local treatment capacity for WEEE.  Since August 2018, a seller of regulated electrical equipment (REE) must have a removal service plan endorsed by the Environmental Protection Department.  The removal service ensures the proper disposal and recycling of REE waste.  

 Recycling: In September 2020, the Hong Kong government implemented a plan to recycle wastepaper, including processes like wastepaper collection and recycling services.  The Hong Kong government’s Environmental Protection Department, which is responsible for environmental issues, will launch a project aiming to collect wastepaper from all districts in Hong Kong for filtering, sorting, baling, and exporting.  Also, as part of the Hong Kong government’s smart city development plan, a smart waste management scheme has been initiated to optimize collection services and reduce municipal operational costs.  

Resources 

Trade Shows   
ReThink Hong Kong 

Date: September 14-15, 2023, Hong Kong 

Eco Expo Asia    
 
Macao International Environmental Cooperation Forum & Exhibition (MIECF)
  
Pertinent Government Agencies and Associations  

Environment Bureau, HKSAR Government  
Environmental Protection Department, HKSAR Government   
Business Environment Council   
Environmental Contractors Management Association  

 

For more information about this industry sector, please contact: 

U.S. Commercial Service, Hong Kong 

Email: office.hongkong@trade.gov