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Partnerships sit at the very heart of our business. Wherever possible, we commit to developing our engagement with an individual or a business into a partnership, moving it away from being a simple contractual relationship. Partner Network is one of the six pillars of Kinetic, our current strategic business plan, evidence of the importance that we place upon bringing our partners into the heart of the K2 Family. For us, partnerships are power, and this article explores the essence and value of this type of relationship.

Defining the term ‘partnership’

Let’s begin with a simple definition of the term ‘partnership’: a partnership is a relationship in which all parties concerned work together to achieve a common goal. Even if one party has technically contracted the other, by positioning the relationship as a partnership, it is clear to both parties that they must collaborate in order to succeed.

Why collaborate?

Collaboration results in the development of a stronger relationship, as each party has to invest time in getting to know the other and establishing which channels of communication work best. The stronger and more streamlined the lines of communication, the more responsive and therefore agile each party becomes. Issues can be communicated as soon as they develop, allowing them to be nipped in the bud or tackled immediately and efficiently.

Journeying together

As mentioned above, partnership is a central part of KINETIC. At the beginning of 2022, we committed to ‘taking our partners on a journey through enhanced communications programmes and encouraging them to join our drive for sustainability.’ The ability to take the people who you work with on a journey with you is a benefit unique to the partnership relationship. The strength and the closeness of the relationship allows you to share knowledge through workshops and webinars, celebrate successes through joint events, and work together to make changes that benefit the industry as a whole.

Making a bigger-than-business change

For example, as a result of the strength of our vendor partnerships, K2 has been able to persuade a significant number of its vendors to commit to being assessed by EcoVadis, a trusted provider of business sustainability ratings. K2 was assessed by EcoVadis for the first time last year, receiving a Silver Rating. Over the next four years, our aim is not only to improve on this rating, but also to encourage as many of our partners as possible to take the EcoVadis assessment, enabling us to start reducing the environmental impact of our supply chain. In this way, the strength of our vendor partnerships gives us the opportunity to drive systemic mindset change, and so play a part in making our industry as a whole more sustainable.

To conclude, K2 recognises the immense value of partnerships, striving to nurture those that it already has and to embrace every opportunity to develop new ones. Not only do our partnerships significantly improve the day-to-day running of our business, they also allow us to make bigger-than-business changes which, in a world that is becoming increasingly concerned with ESG and sustainability, is of huge value.