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Digital best practice

Documenting our experiences and learning to evolve an established best practice about using online tools and data

The Ada Lovelace Institute exists to ensure that data and AI work for people and society.  An important part of our work is exploring the existing and potential benefits and harms of technologies.

We built this website with these principles in mind and have written this page, focusing on sustainability, openness, accessibility and privacy to tell our website visitors the decisions we’ve made and to share what we believe is good practice.

As well as doing the right thing, we hope documenting our experiences and learnings will evolve into established best practice about using online tools and data to amplify impact, while making sure to limit potential harms.

This page was last updated in December 2023, and we will continue to monitor and improve the site and update this information.


We have made a commitment to sustainable development – using tools that meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

We want to understand the environmental impacts from the use of technology we are responsible for, both directly and indirectly, through induced activity by our users and audiences.

Having understood our responsibility, we want to take steps to mitigate this impact, through educating our audiences and making deliberate decisions when designing systems, choosing suppliers or commissioning work.

Sustainability in the context of technology can mean many things, ranging from managing biodiversity, to water usage, responsible disposal of waste or carbon emissions. Some elements are within our direct control, and we can mitigate or reduce, and others we can’t immediately change, but can raise awareness about.

It is important for users of technologies to know that there is a substantial carbon footprint from generating energy, and that information and communication technologies are now recognised as a significant waste stream in terms of global toxic waste. And that there is a substantial water use footprint involved in the creation and operation of the electronics we use, and the geopolitics of sourcing raw materials needed for their construction opens urgent questions of environmental justice.

After surveying the landscape to see what factors we have control over, we focused our efforts primarily on carbon emissions because:

  • As a relatively small organisation, producing mainly information services, most of our impact comes from our supply chain, or the use of information products we create.
  • There are clear guidelines for measuring and reporting carbon emissions, and an overwhelming body of evidence that we are in a climate crisis and need to act. It’s also something we can measure, monitor and actively manage in a fairly tight feedback loop.
  • We wanted to work with organisations that are quantifying their own carbon emissions.
  • Carbon emission information is often accompanied by meaningful information about other impacts, in a form that we can base our decisions on. Even without this information, the carbon embodied in physical products can act as a useful proxy for sustainability in the wider sense, as items with a significant resource footprint also tend to require large energy inputs in their supply chain.

Our supply chain

To understand who was in our supply chain, and how to minimise our environmental impact by choosing suppliers, we worked with the Green Web Foundation to understand the technologies we use, and asked ourselves the following questions:

  • Do they have a public page outlining their own understanding of their environmental impact, and the steps they take to mitigate this?
  • Do they publish reporting on an annual or more frequent basis about their environmental impact?
  • Do they publish their organisational carbon emissions in a structured format like the GHG Corporate Standard’s Scoped Emissions?
  • Do they expose information allowing users to meaningfully influence the environmental impact from the use of their product services?
  • Do they have a published statement of intent to reach a net-zero emissions target by a certain date?
  • Do they have a public plan or statement describing their approach to get to zero emissions? And is there independent review or audit of this progress?

Where information wasn’t available publicly, we asked directly if the supplier was dedicating resources to providing information in the future and commit to review information on a quarterly basis.

As a result of these enquiries, the Ada Lovelace Institute website is hosted by Krystal, which has been powered 100% by renewable energy since 2017 with a transparent relationship between their data centre and energy provider.


Content published by the Ada Lovelace Institute is shared under a Creative Commons CCBY-4.0 license, unless otherwise stated. This means anyone can share and adapt our content freely, as long as credit is given to the Ada Lovelace Institute and named authors using the format below.

How to credit the Ada Lovelace Institute

Where using content produced by the Ada Lovelace Institute, our preferred way to reference us is by including our name, any mentioned authors’ names, the date and a hyperlink to the original source. Where appropriate, such as when adapting material for other uses, please reference the CC-BY-4.0 license.


The Ada Lovelace Institute is committed to ensuring digital accessibility for people with disabilities. We are continually improving the user experience for everyone and applying the relevant accessibility standards. Despite our best efforts to ensure the accessibility of the Ada Lovelace Institute website, there may be some limitations. Please contact us if you observe any issues.


Technical specifications: The Ada Lovelace Institute website is built in WordPress. The HTML and CSS code used for this website has been written to conform with accessibility standards. This means they are more likely to work with as many combinations of web browser and assistive technologies or plugins as possible.

Conformance status: The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) defines requirements for designers and developers to improve accessibility for people with disabilities. It defines three levels of conformance: Level A, Level AA, and Level AAA. The Ada Lovelace Institute website is fully conformant with WCAG 2.0 level AA. Fully conformant means that the content fully conforms to the accessibility standard without any exceptions. Pages score 94/100 or above on Google Chrome accessibility checks.

We assessed the accessibility of the website using self-evaluation, and created this statement using the W3C Accessibility Statement Generator Tool.

Virtual events

We use Zoom for events and some private meetings because it enables keyboard navigation, screen reader support, and closed captioning. We can also provide closed captioning with human captioners at all public Ada events. If you are interested in attending an Ada Lovelace Institute event and using Zoom makes it hard for you to join, or if there are further ways we can support your attendance, please contact


The Ada Lovelace Institute is part of the Nuffield Foundation. You can read our shared privacy policy.

We have made a commitment to privacy and data protection, and have acted on this by carefully considering the technologies we use for our website, newsletter and other communications.

Website cookies

The Ada Lovelace Institute website doesn’t have a cookie notice, because we don’t collect or share personal information about you.

We use only the minimum necessary cookies to make our site work and to enable sharing on platforms like Twitter, YouTube and Google. We have no control over the tracking technologies used by these sites and services.

We use Plausible, which is a non-invasive, GDPR-compliant analytics provider that tracks users through anonymised IP addresses. We can see how many users visit our pages and download our reports, and we can use this information to guide and improve our communications, but we don’t collect or share personal information about our website visitors.

You can disable all cookies by changing your own browser settings, though this may change how the website works.


If you choose to sign up to our newsletter, your data will be collected and used in accordance with GDPR guidelines. We will only use your personal information to send you our newsletter and we won’t share information with third parties. You can opt out at any time through a link on the bottom of the newsletter email.

Social media

Many of the people we want to reach use social media to access information. We use X (formerly Twitter), LinkedIn, Mastodon and YouTube to share information about the Ada Lovelace Institute and our work. Our website also contains links to these websites. We have no control over the tracking technologies used by these sites and services. Here is a resource on how web tracking works.

  • X uses third-party persistent cookies (which remain active across sessions and are ready every time you return to the platform) to help analyse usage and to remember your session if you are logged in. These involve storing log data about you in accordance with X’s privacy policy, which X will then use to show relevant content to you on their platform, including adverts. This web browsing history is not associated by X with other personal data they hold on you and will be anonymised by them after 30 days.

    LinkedIn uses a mix of persistent and session cookies on its webpage and where its plugins are used on third-party webpages, such as ‘Apply with LinkedIn’. Session cookies are only active for that specific browser session. These cookies are used for authentication, security, tracking user preferences, customising content based on a user’s previous use, enabling LinkedIn plugins, facilitating targeted advertising, tracking user interactions with advertisements and analytics on how you interact with LinkedIn services.

    Mastodon uses cookies to enable the site to recognise your browser and link it with a registered account, if you have one. Personally identifiable information may be shared with third parties for the purpose of running Mastodon services, as long as they agree to maintain confidentiality. Your IP address will be associated with your account, and logs of your interactions with the server will be kept. Mastodon states it will keep this data for up to 12 months and 90 days respectively.

    YouTube adds advertisement and analytics cookies, to track information on the embedded videos in our website and to identify users based on their geographical location.

Video conferencing

We use Zoom for webinars and some private meetings. We found that there isn’t a perfect product and have chosen Zoom for its usability and accessibility (covered in the ‘Accessibility’ section above). However, we regularly review our platforms.