Green.Org sat down with Leland “TJ” Jourdan II, Director of Vendor and Customer Relations at Black Marlin Marine strongly believes in green and social impact investing. TJ is passionate about the sustainability and entrepreneurship, and he is currently working for two environmentally-friendly companies. Black Marlin Marine was founded in 2021 to provide vessel support services to the Gulf of Mexico shelf and deep-water oil and gas operations. Black Marlin Marine is committed to safely offering exceptional service to their customers while also creating a significant economic impact for minority businesses. TJ also works as a Chief Officer of Vivchi, a manufacturer of 100% Certified organic products developed with the health conscious consumer in mind.
TJ, thank you for being here. Tell us a little bit about you and your background:
I’ve definitely been on a journey since graduating high school. I spent nine years between Los Angeles and Bangkok, Thailand chasing my dream of being a filmmaker. I was a modest success with two movies on Netflix, but I ultimately left to get into the energy business. I spent 3 years in supply chain logistics before diving, head first, into entrepreneurship by building a paper bag factory in the beautiful country of Rwanda and becoming a part of the country’s beautifully green, sustainable renaissance. That planted the seed that grew into my next ventures: Forty Acres fund, which is an impact fund that invests in small minority owned companies around the world and Vivchi, a company based out of Colombia that manufactures and sells 100% organic disinfectants and sanitizers.
What is a fun fact about you?
I love K-Pop and Korean hip hop. I listen to it off and on all day.
Why do you think climate change and sustainability is such an important topic today?
Sustainability, to me, is everything. With the world’s population growing rapidly, it is imperative that we innovate and find creative ways to feed, transport and entertain people that do not destroy the beautiful planet we live on. Covid-19 highlighted this need even more, but people aren’t listening. Oceans are now riddled with blue disposable masks and we spray ourselves and our environments with harmful chemicals that promise to “clean” you.
What do you envision your industry looking like 10 years from now?
On the disinfectant side, organic is the only real answer. Vivchi, actually, just closed a deal with the Arena Football league so we are optimistic that this will be the start of many more high profile deals to come. Our bodies, and the environment, need a total departure from these super harmful chemicals. Green/social impact investing will be huge as well. Young folks get behind companies with a social cause a lot faster than they do companies without. Forty Acres has plans to invest, significantly, in sustainable farming initiatives.
What can the average person do to make a difference?
Take it one day at a time. Find something small you can do every day and stay consistent. Even just switching from plastic to paper at the grocery store is a huge first step.