Hong Kong - Country Commercial Guide
Environmental Technologies
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Trade Statistics 

Table: Total Market Size for Environmental Technologies
  2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 (Jan-Jul) 
Total Exports  23,716 24,652 28,899 26,914 13,842 
Total Imports  23,99725,57830,139 28,054 14,297 
Imports from the US  1,1961,0901,235 1,231 674 
Exchange Rates:  
7.8 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 allocated significant resources toward tackling environmental issues like waste treatment, air pollution, and water pollution.  The Covid-19 pandemic led to demand for clinical waste management solutions.  As a regional business hub, Hong Kong plays a strong role as a trading platform for environmental products for mainland China and the broader Asia 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 win 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 Hong Kong government’s 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, consider building sea walls, and enhance flooding and landslip prevention and drainage management.  Overall, the Hong Kong government is in the process of exploring innovative and tech solutions to a wide variety of climate resilience challenges. 

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

Leading Sub-Sectors

  • Air quality control and measuring solutions
  • Waste-to-resource/energy system and technologies
  • Advanced refuse transfer station technologies
  • Waste recycling and on-site separation system 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


Clean air: According to the Clean Air Network, Hong Kong’s only NGO dedicated to the improvement of air quality, the annual average concentrations of respirable suspended particulates (PM10), fine suspended particulates (PM2.5), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and sulphur dioxide (SO2) in the ambient air in Hong Kong have reduced by 43 per cent to 62 per cent in the past 10 years. However, this is still more than 200 percent over the World Health Organization Global Air Quality Guidelines. The University of Hong Kong’s School of Public Health estimates that in 2022 air pollution caused more than 3,500 deaths and 5.35 billion in total economic loss. Hong Kong’s Clean Air Plan 2035 reports that in 2019, vessel emissions accounted for 28 percent, 35 percent, and 20 percent of the total local emissions of SO2, NO2, and PM10 respectively. Among them, ocean-going vessels are the major emission source as they account for about 40-90 percent of total vessel emissions in these three types of air pollutants, followed by local vessels and river trade vessels.  Some of the most significant current opportunities in Hong Kong involve the electrification of vessels and the adoption, production, and bunkering of liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Food Waste: Hong Kong’s Environmental Protection Department reports that in 2021, the city produced 4.15 million tons of municipal solid waste.  Food waste was the largest category, accounting for 30 percent.  This is a 5.6 percent increase from 2020.  To avoid food waste disposal at landfills, Hong Kong plans to treat the city’s 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 resources recovery centers in phases, with a total recycling capacity of about 1,300 to 1,500 kg per day.  In its 2022-2023 budget, the Hong Kong government 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.

Green Transportation: In 2022, Hong Kong’s largest bus operator, Kowloon Motor Bus Company (KMB), put 16 single-deck, electric buses into service and will put a total of 52 double-decker electric buses into service by the end of this year.  By 2025, KMB wants to procure another 500 electric buses.  According to the Clean Air Plan 2035, the Hong Kong government has already paid out 255 million dollars in tax concessions for environmentally friendly commercial vehicles such as taxis, light buses, buses, and goods vehicles.  Additionally, various measures to popularize private electric vehicles have been put in places, such as banning the registration of fuel-propelled private cars by 2035, a waiver of up to almost 12.5 thousand dollars in registration fees and tax concessions of up to 36 thousand dollars.  With commercial and private vehicles getting electrified, opportunities are available in advancements in energy management systems, battery charging, battery recycling, and electrification of commercial vehicles.  Furthermore, the US$255 million EV-charging at Home Subsidy Scheme (EHSS) was introduced in October 2020 to subsidize the installation of EV charging-enabling infrastructure in the car parks of existing private residential buildings, showing an even bigger opportunity for charging technology and energy management systems.


Hong Kong Trade Shows: 
Re-Think Hong Kong 2024

Date: September 12 – September 13, 2024

Venues: Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre


Eco Expo Asia 2023   
Date:  October 30- November 02, 2024

Venues: Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre


1.5°C Summit 2023

Date: November 13, 2023

Venue: K11 Atelier, King’s Road, Hong Kong

Macau International Environmental Co-operation Forum & Exhibition

Date: August 17- August 20, 2023

Venue: The Venetian Macao

Pertinent Government Agencies and Associations

Environment and Ecology 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 

Maggie Lau, Commercial Specialist  

Email: maggie.lau@trade.gov