Environment Sector in Mexico

With the development of the environmental and climate change legislation and constantly increasing awareness in the country, Mexico’s environmental market has been rapidly and steadily growing in recent years.

  • According to the Mexican National Institute of Statistics (INEGI) and the National Institute of Ecology (INE), Mexico is the second most important environmental market in Latin America after Brazil and is estimated to be worth approximately US$8 billion in total.

Market overview

Currently, more than 60% of the Mexican population (112.3 million) live in cities. Greater Mexico City has a population of more than 22 million, making it the largest metropolitan area in the western hemisphere. The INE estimates that more than 2,800 environmental services companies are operating in Mexico.

1. Waste management and recycling

More than 92,000 tonnes of solid waste are generated in Mexico every day, and more than 39 Mexican cities have private sector involvement in solid waste management. Approximately 80% of the waste generated is collected, but only half of the solid waste collected receives proper handling, confinement or treatment.

The total 2009 market for solid municipal waste equipment was US$932 million. In 2011, several local governments announced the launch of waste separation programmes and economic incentives. These were to improve waste management of organic and inorganic waste, also to increase citizens’ participation.

2. Environmental monitoring equipment & air pollution control

The Mexican government has presented several proposals for fighting air pollution, including incentives for using cleaner fuels and smog control measures, not only in Mexico City but also in Tijuana, Guadalajara and other car use intensive cities. Mexican environmental initiatives include developing clean taxis and small buses in order to reduce urban emissions, and improving environmental infrastructure.

4. Contaminated land remediation

According to the National Institute of Ecology (INE) the most commonly treated contaminants in Mexico are hydrocarbons and muddy and drilling oils. Mexican companies focus on contaminated land remediation technologies using organic components and biological methods (bioremediation).

Key opportunities

  • Waste management and recycling

The growth of the recycling industry will increase the demand for technologies and services from international companies, representing great opportunities for British companies with expertise in this sector.

Only recently, the Mexico City Government launched a tender to hire final closure and post closure maintenance services for the Bordo Poniente landfill, which received more than 12,500 ton/day of waste and accumulated over 65 million tonnes of waste. It is expected that the winners of the tender process will capture and use biogas to generate energy that will then be used for public purposes. There are British companies competing to win this 25 year contract. States such as Veracruz have expressed their interest in learning more about British capacities in waste management.

The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) will also continue to create more sanitary landfills, promoting the remediation of soil contaminated sites and better medical waste treatment facilities as high priorities.

  • Water and wastewater treatment

According to the National Water Commission, which is part of the SEMARNAT, the priorities set out for 2007 to 2012 will be focused on the construction of municipal wastewater treatment plants and portable water treatment plants.

  • Environmental monitoring equipment & air pollution control

Initiatives throughout Mexico include: replacing, retrofitting and upgrading inefficient machinery, engines, and equipment for clean technologies, emissions testing and control, reducing energy consumption and cost-effective alternative energies and fuels. This will allow companies to comply with international environmental standards such as ISO 14000. British certification companies have presence in the market and have acknowledged demand for environmental certification is increasing.

  • Contaminated land remediation

The national Oil & Gas state utility, PEMEX, is trying to recover many of the places where they have closed refineries and extraction wells. One of the most important projects is the recently inaugurated Bicentennial Park in the grounds of what was one of the largest oil refineries in Mexico.

  • Energy Efficiency

Mexico has implemented a sustainable lighting program that will replace more than 47 million of incandescent light bulbs for fluorescent lamps. Commercialisation of 100, 75 and 40-60-watt light bulbs will be prohibited on December 2011, 2012 and 2013 respectively. Management of used fluorescent light bulbs will soon trigger commercial opportunities for special waste management companies.

There is also another federal government program that provides citizens with an economic incentive looking to exchange inefficient electric appliances for energy efficient ones. The programme has already replaced more than 900 thousand units in the country.

Policies to improve efficiency in the residential, commercial and public sectors — including tightening and enforcing efficiency standards for lighting, air conditioning, refrigeration will be critical to limiting greenhouse gas emissions. As the analysis shows, the investment required in all electricity-efficiency interventions is significantly less than the investment in power plants that would otherwise be needed. The recently issued National Energy Strategy set the objective to increase energy efficiency from 1 to 15% by 2026.

Latest export opportunities in the Environmental sector

Latest export opportunities in Mexico

Getting into the market

British companies wishing to develop their business in the Mexican market are advised to undertake as much market research and planning as possible in the UK. UKTI’s team in Mexico, with its wide local knowledge and experience, can provide a range of services to British-based companies wishing to grow their business in the Mexican markets

This can include:

• Provision of market information

• Validated lists of agents/distributors

• Key market players or potential customers in the Mexican market

• Establishment of interest of such contacts in working with you

• Arrangement of appointments

• Organisation of seminars or other events for you to meet contacts and promote your company in the Mexican market

To find out more about commissioning this work, or accessing other UKTI services and specialist advice, please visit the UKTI website to find contact details for your local UKTI office.

More about doing business in Mexico


Market intelligence is critical when doing business overseas, and UKTI can provide bespoke market research and support during overseas visits though our chargeable Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS).

To commission research or for general advice about the market, get in touch with our specialists in country – or contact your local international trade team.

  • Einar Holmen, British Embassy Mexico. Tel: (+52 55) 1670 3274 or email: einar.holmen@fco.gov.uk

  • Jacqueline Sanchez, British Embassy Mexico. Tel: (+52 55) 1670 3252 or email: Jacqueline.sanchez@fco.gov.uk

UKTI Events

UKTI runs a range of events for exporters, including seminars in the UK, trade missions to overseas markets and support for attendance at overseas trade shows.

Latest events Environmental

Major Events

Prosperity Outreach Campaign, focus on Renewable Energies, Environment and Green Growth

November, 2012


WindPower 2013

30-31 January 2013


Useful links

More about OMIS and other UKTI services for exporters

Sectors: Energy, Environment & Water
Countries: Mexico
Export Action Plan