CFO helps drive PTT’s balanced approach
Pannalin Mahawongtikul, chief financial officer (CFO) of PTT Plc, is one of the leaders helping to transform the national oil and gas conglomerate, with a mission being to make the world a better place.
Her tasks, both in a financial and non-financial context, support PTT’s greater emphasis on a shift towards clean energy and digital technology as well as attempts to build a healthier society.
All of them fall in line with environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards when it comes to running a modern business.
Ms Pannalin said the role of PTT not only ensures national energy security, but also aims to develop the quality of life of Thai people as well as taking better care of the environment.
This is the latest chapter in PTT’s long journey, she said.
Established as an oil retail company in the 1980s, PTT later became a leading gas supplier in the country and, through its subsidiaries, the operator of a variety of businesses ranging from petroleum and petrochemical production to non-oil businesses.
New businesses PTT is establishing not only refer to those in the non-oil category but also ones that are aimed at improving the environment and people’s quality of life, rather than solely focusing on business growth.
Ms Pannalin has helped PTT develop “green” accounting in a move to awaken executives and staff to a non-business motive to work towards a better environment which is as important as profit.
Issuing PTT green bonds to finance reforestation is among the projects which fall under the concept of green accounting, she said.
The company announced last year it planned to increase its reforestation area to 2 million rai, up from 1 million rai in the first phase.
Initiated in the 1990s, the first-phase of the programme is able to absorb 2.1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year and release 1.7 million tonnes of oxygen annually, according to PTT.
PTT aims to achieve carbon neutrality, a balance between carbon dioxide emissions and absorption, within 2040 and a net-zero goal, a balance between greenhouse gas emissions and reduction, by 2050.
The company’s environmental goals, together with efforts to help improve society, is being pushed ahead under a vision entitled “Powering Life with Future Energy and Beyond,” said Ms Pannalin.
She is one of the executives helping PTT develop and operate projects that promote future energy and S-curve businesses, with the potential to grow rapidly. This will allow the company to have additional sources of revenue and contribute more to society.
Future energy includes renewable fuels for power generation, which is the responsibility of Global Power Synergy Plc, the power generation arm of PTT.
PTT and Taiwan-based Hon Hai Precision Industry Co, a multinational electronics manufacturer, are also jointly developing an electric vehicle factory to support the use of clean energy in Thailand.
According to Ms Pannalin, PTT has diversified into businesses in the life science field through its subsidiaries to make cancer drugs and high-quality materials that are often used in the medical industry, such as N95 face masks.
“These businesses will definitely support national economic growth, promote people’s quality of life and conserve the environment to achieve Thailand’s carbon neutrality and net-zero targets,” said Ms Pannalin.
PTT not only allocates several billion baht in capital spending to fuel these businesses but also invests in human capital by establishing educational institutions, including Kamnoetvidya Science Academy, a high school for talented science students, and Vidyasirimedhi Institute of Science and Technology.
Ms Pannalin also helps PTT apply digital technology to key business functions, especially in the finance and accounting sections, for faster workflow and smarter decision-making.
The company implements enterprise resource planning to ensure smooth end-to-end operational processes and robotic process automation (RPA), also known as robot software, a form of automation software, to support accounting activities as well as digital work processes for treasury and tax calculations to boost efficiency and reduce human error.
She said these digital tools can manage finance and accounting functions more efficiently and in a more timely way at lower cost.
“These tools free up our staff from repetitive work processes, so they can focus on more valuable activities in line with ESG standards,” said Ms Pannalin.
INTO THE SPOTLIGHT
Ms Pannalin stepped into the spotlight as one of seven chief financial executive officers at PTT, an opportunity to fully put her expertise into use at management level.
Currently four of the seven chief financial executives are female.
In her view, it does not matter whether executives must be male or female.
“I think what matters is how to find a balance between discipline and flexibility and find ways out when facing a ‘red team’,” said Ms Pannalin, referring to staff ideas that go against the mainstream.
“People may think women are conservative, but they can find a good balance from these differences.”