Clean energy isn’t the career path one would expect someone from the heart of oil country to pursue. But Houston native Jordan Collins decided to ditch fossil fuels for renewables.
Collins, 33, is president of Tikkun Olam Energy, a clean energy consulting and government relations company he founded in June following nearly four years as attorney and director of government relations at the Mintz Levin law firm, where he represented more than 22 clean energy clients including wind, solar, biofuels and energy efficiency manufacturers.
Before Mintz Levin, the Arlington resident worked for more than four years as an energy efficiency and renewable energy legal, regulatory and policy consultant at the Department of Energy.
Collins holds a BS in business administration from the University of North Carolina and a JD from South Texas College of Law.
We recently sat down for coffee in downtown Washington to discuss the Jewish roots of his clean energy company, climbing in Patagonia and a carbon free future.
What inspired you to name your company Tikkun Olam Energy?
The only real guiding principle comes from my Jewish roots, which is the concept of tikkun olam, making the world a better place than you left it. I think that’s my golden rule and how I view my role in trying to do well by doing good. My clients are in the renewable energy manufacturing and energy efficiency spaces and I feel that they are the businesses that are going to be the next great wave of investment that will help us reduce our carbon emissions. So if these companies are successful I think the world’s a little better place.
We hear you’re a big sports fan.
I’m a huge golfer. I have a bad golf habit. My teams are the North Carolina Tar Heels, from my alma mater, Texas Longhorns and I’m also a big Nats fan.
Where are the most memorable places you have visited in your travels?
I am an obsessive traveler. I have been to 50 countries and love to travel. From scuba diving to climbing in Patagonia, I just love to see the world. It’s a tie between New Zealand and Patagonia in Chile. Those were two really awesome places. And unforgettable.
Do you believe society will transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy and energy efficiency?
Am I confident they can do it? Yes. The technology exists today. The economics work. Regardless of your thoughts on whether global warming is due to humans, it makes good business sense to make businesses more efficient and get our sources of energy from renewable sources if given the option. Am I confident we are going to do it in time to not reap irreparable damage on the planet? Much less confident. We’re trying to do our best to actually think about the kids and hopefully that will be a lasting legacy that at least we tried if it doesn’t work out. So it’s not for lack of trying.