Hangzhou, China, October 5th, 2023 - The International Canoe Federation has joined forces with digital technology giant Alibaba to find ways to monitor and improve the sustainability of its events around the world.

As a leader in environmental sustainability practices, the 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.

ICF Alibaba partnership