Staycation with CGWM’s Justin Oliver: Beach cricket, Guernsey eateries and our #cando campaign

'A five-minute walk to the beach is about as environmentally friendly as one could hope for!'

In this special summer series, members of the responsible investment industry share their staycations and sustainable holiday activities with ESG Clarity readers.

Following our popular Working from Home with… and A Sustainable Xmas with… series on the back of the Covid-19 pandemic, we wanted to find out how holiday plans have changed – and become more environmentally and socially friendly – in a year where travel abroad is looking challenging.

Here, Justin Oliver, deputy CIO at Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management shares his staycation at home in Guernsey.

Where are you holidaying this year and with whom? How will you travel there? 

I am fortunate to live on the beautiful island of Guernsey where a beach is never more than 10 minutes’ drive away, and where I am lucky to live a mere five minute walk away from a  lovely beach called Port Soif (as per picture – it’s pronounced Port Swoff). So, my family and I will not be venturing very far at all! This also means that our dog can play a full and active part in our holiday plans. 

Beach days will involve a quick walk up the road, while we also hope to take full advantage of Guernsey’s many wonderful eating establishments; eating out is something of a local pastime, so there will be no shortage of venues to try. We also have other islands we can take a day trip to should we be in the mood – Herm, which is a 30-minute ferry away, is absolutely stunning in the summer.

How does this differ from your ‘usual’ holidays? 

We would normally travel further afield and ideally like to go somewhere with wide open spaces, mountains and lakes – not things we have much of in Guernsey! Recently, we’ve flown to Canada, hired a car and then driven ourselves from place to place as we rarely get the opportunity for a road trip. The plan would have been to do the same again this year, perhaps for even as long as a month, but this will now be a 2022 ambition.

It has been a very tough year. How will this holiday help you reset and refresh? 

Canaccord has been absolutely fantastic in helping staff through these challenging times and making sure we are well supported and that we sufficiently disconnect from time to time. Canaccord’s #cando campaign was geared towards supporting staff with their well-being. 

Guernsey has also been in a very fortunate position. With travel to and from the island having been limited and self-isolation being necessary for anyone arriving on the island, this has meant that for large parts of 2020 and 2021 we have been Covid-19 free and that life on the island has been pretty much normal, with no social distancing or limits on contact. Nevertheless, a couple of weeks of nice sunshine, good food and time with the family is pretty much all I ever need!    

How will you ensure your holiday is environmentally friendly? 

I think a five-minute walk to the beach is about as environmentally friendly as one could hope for!

Share some (sustainable) activities you have planned for your staycation? 

Beach cricket, sea swimming and eating locally sourced food where possible. I’ll also spend some time tending to our vegetable patch.

What’s your holiday reading? 

Strictly fiction as I read masses of non-fiction related news and research as part of my job, so this will be part of my “switching off” for a couple of weeks. At last count, I have 38 books set aside to read so no shortage of choice; I will probably start with the series of books behind the Amazon Prime TV show The Expanse, of which there are nine to get through so far. That may take me at least a couple of weeks…

What’s the verdict? Do you think you will be staycationing more in the future? Or are you looking forward to travelling abroad? 

I’m looking forward to travelling again so we will continue to take every opportunity to see as much of the big wide world as we can. I love Guernsey, but it is small…

How do you think the Covid-19 pandemic will impact business travel long term? 

Less business travel definitely, but it will return as Zoom/Microsoft Teams can only replicate face to face meetings to a certain extent.

What’s on your radar for the ESG investment industry for the rest of the year? 

We are looking for there to be further integration of ESG considerations into every aspect of the investment decision making process. The ideal should be that ESG is no longer talked about because it is so inherent and ingrained into decision making that it would be inconceivable not to factor in ESG considerations.

You can view the full Staycation series by clicking here.


Natalie Kenway

Natalie is editor in chief at MA Financial covering ESG Clarity, Portfolio Adviser and International Adviser. She was previously global head of ESG insight for ESG Clarity and has been an investment journalist...