"Can I save whole ecosystems? I'm on it". Meet Sam Miller.
At Credit Suisse sustainability is at the heart of what we do. Many of our colleagues are engaged in environmental and socially focused initiatives. In this series we showcase their work towards a sustainable future.
In this first of several stories, we're excited to introduce Sam Miller, a Project Manager and Business Analyst within Credit Suisse (UK) Limited and Employee Engagement Lead volunteer for the UK Sustainability Network.
Colleagues like Sam are making significant contributions to a better future for all, and we recognize the part large financial institutions like us also need to play in tackling environmental issues. Not just for now, but for the generations to come. Our business-level goals and standards to drive positive change include the reduction of our carbon footprint to net zero by 2050 and transitioning to sustainable finance and impact investment products. You can discover more about what we're doing to advance sustainability in our business, measure progress, and report against our targets in our sustainability report.
As well as these business-level goals we also support individuals to engage in sustainable lifestyles and initiatives – which is why we want to shine a spotlight on their amazing work here.
Read on to discover what Sam's doing every day to reduce his own carbon footprint, and how he shares this with family, friends and colleagues for further inspiration.
Meet our sustainability ambassador, Sam Miller
What drives you to dedicate your free time to sustainability?
I'm on it – a mission to live sustainably! – because I believe the Earth is truly precious, and together we have a duty to protect it. In the cosmic void of space, the chances of having a planet perfectly suited to support life, and having life evolve, is mind- boggling.
What was the turning point in your life that inspired you to get involved in sustainable living?
When I was driving through a remote region of France there were so many insects across my windscreen that I needed to pull over to clean it. I realized that in the UK I never need to do this, yet my parents did when I was growing up in the '90s. Where have all the insects gone? Many animals depend on them for food – including us. If they go, we have no pollinators for food and crops. It was then that I made it a priority to protect these crucial, often overlooked creatures.
What do you do, personally, in order to live sustainably?
My family and I try to embrace 'big picture thinking' in our day-to-day life. For one, we buy a renewable energy option for our home, and have invested in the wind industry to encourage more renewable investment. We buy a weekly fruit and vegetable box, which is delivered from a local, organic farm. We grow salads and herbs at home (which is really easy), and vegetables in our allotment using wildlife friendly techniques. What we can't source we get from the supermarkets, but prefer organic vegetables to protect insects, or loose vegetables without the plastic to protect animals. We aim for a mostly plant-based diet during the week.
There are ponds in both our small garden and allotment, and we've grown our lawn into a meadow where we build wildlife mini-habitats. We compost our food waste to provide food and shelter to wildlife, and organic fertilizer for us. We aim to eliminate single-use plastics by using reusable coffee cups and cutlery. We reuse and recycle, and save items from landfill by buying second hand. Finally, our pensions are invested in ESG funds, and we donate money to local wildlife charities.
How do you promote sustainability at work?
I minimize electricity consumption by shutting down my PC in the evening, and reduce my data consumption by using SharePoint instead of sending documents by email. This cuts the amount of data stored on servers that need cooling and electricity.
What are you most proud of in your efforts to reduce your impact on the planet?
Our nature habitats in our wildlife garden and allotment. We have frogs, butterflies, birds, bees, and all kinds of other insects. Seeing this is proof that what we are doing is working, and I’m happy to be able to share these amazing experiences to inspire others to get involved too!
How would you finish these sentences?
'I protect what is precious by...'
...being more aware. Once you start becoming aware of your consumption, you can start making changes bit by bit. Over time, it should become second nature.
'It is important we transition to a sustainable way of life because...'
...we simply have no choice. The planet cannot sustain the way we are living at the moment. If we do not find ways to live more efficiently and embrace nature, we will suffer extreme climate events, food and water insecurities.
And finally, 'Disruption for the future can happen when...'
...we demand more actions from ourselves, our corporations and our governments. We all need to be willing to change.
Stay tuned for more inspirational stories from your colleagues.
We're on it, too! Learn more about sustainability in our business.