Hong Kong funeral industry embraces green burials

Rising demand for sustainable funeral practices shapes the market.

In the last decade, the green burial industry has seen substantial growth, nearly tripling in size. This surge in eco-conscious choices is reshaping how the sector operates, particularly in regions like Hong Kong where environmental awareness is increasingly influencing consumer behaviour.

Alan Leung, Director of Hong Kong Funeral Logistics Co Ltd, said that the shift towards green burials has necessitated a departure from traditional materials and practices. 

"The industry once favoured elaborate caskets adorned with metals and plastics, but we're moving towards more sustainable materials like pure wood," he explained. This change not only aligns with environmental regulations but also responds to a growing preference among consumers for simpler, more environmentally friendly burial options.

"It's no longer just about meeting customer expectations but also complying with stringent government environmental policies," he stated. 

The adaptation process also involves providing customers with more choices that are aligned with sustainable practices. Leung's company, for instance, has focused on offering eco-friendly caskets that are devoid of any harmful materials. "These caskets do not contain PVC or any other non-biodegradable materials, making them a perfect choice for green burials," Leung added.

From 5% in 2011, the demand for green burials has risen to 16% in 2023, with Leung forecasting an increase to 20% within a few years. "The shift is driven by both financial considerations and a stronger environmental consciousness among Hong Kong residents," he notes.

"We ensure our services are not only compliant with environmental guidelines but are also competitively priced, given that consumers are increasingly comparing prices online," Leung mentioned. 

His company's strategy includes simplifying services to reduce waste and focusing on affordability, key factors that he believes will support their leadership in the green burial movement.

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