CK Power Public Company Limited (CKPower) is one of Southeast Asia’s largest producers of renewables-based electricity with one of the lowest carbon footprints. The European caught up with its managing director Thanawat Trivisvavet to find out how it can deliver on seemingly opposing needs: generating good business for shareholders and also serving environment, social, and all stakeholders across the value chain.
The European: As a leading clean energy producer in Southeast Asia, how do you foresee the opportunities arising from the global shift to renewable energy sources?
Thanawat Trivisvavet: We’re quite certain that there are huge opportunities coming from the disruptions in the energy and transport sector. The days of clean energy like solar and wind power have arrived since cost-wise they are already competitive against fossil fuels in addition to being “endless” fuels and having minimum impact on the environment. So, it is good for both businesses and for the World we live in. For the transport sector we have seen a remarkable shift to electric vehicles that will increase demand for green electricity.
The current energy crisis has become a “wake up call” for countries around the World to think harder about national energy security, especially their reliance on fossil fuels whose prices have skyrocketed, and supply becomes uncertain. This comes on top of the global movement to fight climate change.
While the potential is huge, the ASEAN region has not yet fully leveraged this trend, and I think there is still a lot of room for us to grow and contribute to the cleaner energy future of the region. Our extensive experience and expertise in renewable-based electricity production will position us well to benefit from these rising opportunities.
TE: Do you think how the corporate sector can play a better role in combating some of the world’s real problems such as global warming and social inequality issues?
TT: As a responsible corporate citizen, CKPower is determined to do its part, in what we can do best. As a clean energy producer, we are committed to help strengthening energy stability and strive to lead the region in producing renewable power to alleviate global warming and contribute to build a more stable and sustainable future for the society.
On the social side, CKPower has supported engagement for the quality-of-life development in every community around the power plants that we operate. Among many recognitions, we were recently honoured by Enterprise Asia, a leading non-governmental organisation that promotes responsible entrepreneurship in Asia, at the Asia Responsible Enterprise Awards 2022 in the “Social Empowerment” category for our outstanding initiative known as the “Hinghoi Project.” The Hinghoi Project utilises our expertise and knowhow in engineering and clean energy to make positive social value contribution by working together with communities such as constructing energy-saving school buildings, solar-powered pump for elevated water tanks, etc.
On an international scale, we have joined the United Nations Global Compact since 2020 and continue to play a vital role in advocating its 10 principles on human rights, labour, environment, and anti-corruption efforts.
We are also striving toward the goal to achieve the net-zero emission status by 2050.
TE: Is there a conflicting role between being a good corporate citizen and being a best-performing enterprise for your shareholders?
TT: We don’t think so. And this is not just my opinion. The figures speak for themselves. While we are fully committed to being a good corporate citizen and to sustainable development especially in the area of fighting against climate change, the company has continued to report healthy growth and operating results, posting the highest net profit ever recorded at Bt2,436 million in 2022, which represented an increase of 12% from the previous year.
TE: How do you embed the sustainability practices into the core strategy of the company and into the DNA of your management and employees?
TT: We have introduced our so-called “C-K-P” sustainability strategies, where “C” stands for “Clean Electricity”; “K” for “Kind Neighbour”; and “P” for “Partnership for Life. On our “Clean Electricity” promise, we have striven toward the clean energy future, already having 93% of our generating capacity based on renewable energy sources. The company is pushing further to increase this proportion to be 95% by 2024.
On our “Kind Neighbour” strategy, CKPower has followed the guidelines of the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs). We have encouraged a culture of “giving back to the society” among our employees. Everywhere we operate, the company’s employees engage with the local communities, lending their expertise for the development and well-being of the communities.
On “Partnership for Life”, the company strongly believes that, while the ultimate goal is to create economic value, it is important to achieve a balance in order to create sustainable value for all stakeholders long into the future.
TE: What are your advices for companies looking to strike the fine balance between profit and sustainable goals?
TT: Don’t wait. You can do it now… at least step-by-step. The rewards will be great and if you find the right way to go, the two goals will support each other. You can do good for the World and good for your business at the same time.
Thanawat Trivisvavet has been managing director since 2015 and has been instrumental in the transformation of CKPower into one of the largest renewable power producers with one of the lowest carbon footprints in Southeast Asia.