Alibaba joins low carbon patent pledge

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Alibaba joins low carbon patent pledge

E-commerce giant Alibaba has jointed the Low Carbon Patent Pledge (LCPP) to accelerate the adoption of green technology.

The LCPP is an independent platform that encourages organisations to share patents for low carbon technologies.

Alibaba has made nine key patents for green data centre technology available for free to external parties.

In keeping with its support for green initiatives, Alibaba Cloud, aims to have its global data centres running entirely on clean energy by 2030, starting with upgrades to five of its hyper-scale data centres in China.

The nine patents offered are parts of Alibaba’s green data centre technologies including the unique "soaking server" cooling system Alibaba Cloud has deployed for its data centres since 2015. This non-mechanical cooling measure leads to energy savings of over 70 percent compared to traditional mechanical cooling, according to the company.

Joining the coalition of various pledgors from the international society, the initiative marks the first time that Alibaba Group has pledged to offer critical intellectual property broadly available on sustainability, which reinforces its long-standing commitment to achieving a low-carbon and sustainable future for the society through forging broader cooperation.

Dr. Chen Long, VP of Alibaba Group and chair of Alibaba’s sustainability steering committee said, “We believe technology innovation is a key driver in transitioning to the low-carbon circular economy of the future. As a pioneer and global technology leader, we are committed to taking broader social responsibility to use technology to level the playing field and empower the wider social groups, creating long-term value.

Low Carbon Pledge Patent was launched on Earth Day 2021 by Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), Microsoft, and Meta with the mission of promoting low carbon technologies and fostering collaborative innovation.

Shanyuan Gao, general manager of Alibaba Cloud Infrastructure’s internet data centre division, said: “Eco-friendly data centres are critical to Alibaba’s sustainable operations. We employ cutting-edge green technologies in its hyper-scale facilities, of which liquid cooling and renewable electricity storage make a considerable difference in reducing carbon emissions.

“For instance, in our Hangzhou data centre, server clusters are submerged in specialized liquid coolant, which quickly chills the IT hardware.”

Alibaba Cloud’s Zhangbei data centre employs the same method, which contributed to it earning a Green Power Consumption Certificate from the Beijing Electric Power Exchange Centre in 2021, recognizing the facility as the first in China to use heat-pump technology.

As Alibaba Cloud builds a secure and resilient global infrastructure network, it believes that the advanced technology housed within the data centres will become the new standard with liquid cooling being promoted throughout China and in more countries in the future.

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