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Community Blog International Canoe Federation and Alibaba Cloud Partner for Sustainable Development

International Canoe Federation and Alibaba Cloud Partner for Sustainable Development

AI-driven sustainability solution is expected to be implemented in upcoming canoe competitions.

Hangzhou, China, October 5th, 2023 - As a leader in environmental sustainability practices, the International Canoe Federation (“ICF”) is taking a pioneering step by joining forces with Alibaba Cloud, the digital technology and intelligence backbone of Alibaba Group, to optimise organisational practices in support of global sustainability goals.

The strategic partnership between ICF and Alibaba Cloud was announced on 5 October at the 19th Asian Games. During this event, ICF President Thomas Konietzko and Secretary General Richard Pettit visited the athletes' village in Hangzhou and experienced the sustainable lifestyle tools offered by Alibaba Cloud. These tools are designed to help participants in the Asian Games adopt low-carbon habits and reduce carbon emissions.

The ICF is deeply committed to protecting the environment and playing a significant role in delivering sustainable events. As the Official Cloud Services Partner of the International Olympic Committee, Alibaba Cloud launched its AI-driven sustainability solution, Energy Expert, last June. This solution has been successfully deployed in various events, such as the Olympic Esports Week in June this year and the Hangzhou Asian Games, allowing event organisers to identify sources of carbon emissions, quantify a venue’s carbon footprint, and provide an integrated dashboard with online reports for visualizing sustainability performance.

The collaboration between ICF and Alibaba Cloud encompasses various aspects. These include the development of fit-for-purpose sustainability toolkits based on ICF’s strategy; improving efficiencies in adopting sustainability measurement such as increasing the use of renewable energy; creating sustainable event management programmes to assist national federations and organisers in promoting sustainability for all ICF’s global events; and enhancing fan experiences for both high-performance and recreational sports through innovative sports presentations and digital channels. Additionally, it involves enhancing fan engagement by incorporating gamification of sustainability messages during events.

“We are a sport that is very much connected to the environment, and we must lead the way in remaining at the cutting edge as an international sport in terms of sustainability. The win-win collaboration with Alibaba Cloud will introduce ICF to AI-driven digital technology and solutions, making Canoe a vehicle for sustainability values,” said Mr. Konietzko.

“Alibaba Cloud has been committed to advocating sustainability practices through technologies, and we are deploying our latest cloud and AI technologies to support organisations worldwide to make their events more sustainable and efficient,” said William Xiong, Vice President of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence Group and General Manager of Enterprise Service Cloud. “The partnership with ICF is another testimony to our long-term devotion to sports innovation and sustainability initiatives.”

The two parties have agreed to introduce associated initiatives to the International Olympic Committee and begin piloting projects at upcoming ICF events.

About International Canoe Federation

The International Canoe Federation (ICF) is the sole organisation responsible for canoe and kayak paddling sports by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), it administers all aspects of canoe sport, across 10 disciplines, worldwide. Through the network of 173 national federations, the ICF unites millions of paddlers around the world, competing in dozens of ICF events every year. The International Canoe Federation has a vested interest in protecting the environment, and has made a significant commitment to playing its part in delivering sustainable events. The ICF has successfully teamed up with the IOC and UN Environment to promote the CleanSeas project, highlighting the growing problem of plastics in our waterways. It also joins the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) as part of its overall strategy to make a positive impact on the environment.

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