Skip to main content

June 2022 saw University of Surrey student Alexander Seear join K2 on a placement year, taking on the role of Associate ESG and Commercial Partner.

This week marks the end of Alex’s placement, and in wanting to shed light on his achievements, we caught up with Alex to reflect upon his year at K2. Best wishes for the future, Alex!

“I did not expect this placement to have as much traction as it did. I feel that I’ve achieved so much here; this year has been so worthwhile.”

Alexander Seear, Associate ESG & Commercial Partner

Tell us about your role at K2?

There’s really two parts of the Associate ESG and the Commercial Partner role… the Associate ESG side, and the Commercial Partner side. ESG (meaning Environmental Social and Governance) involves working with the business to become more sustainable in each of the three areas. Whilst our Corporate Social Responsibility is led by Richard Rutledge, Environmental and Governance covers everything from K2’s sustainable habits, to ISO accreditations. And being a Commercial Partner is all about developing our supply chain; inviting partners to join us on our journey in becoming more sustainable with help from EcoVadis – an external sustainability assessor.

How did you find your role?

I found this placement through asking around the people I know, and I was lucky enough that Nick and Ken were happy to sit down and talk to me about a new position in the sustainability team. This was February 2022, the EcoVadis project hadn’t started yet, and for when it was to be launched, Nick needed a person dedicated to the project. I joined in June 2022. By that point, K2 had partnered with EcoVadis, and we were just beginning our work with them.

What have you enjoyed most about your placement with K2?

Looking back, I believe it’s the very same thing that got me excited to join K2 in the very beginning – the journey. This time last year, our EcoVadis partnership was in its infancy. Linda and I were starting from scratch, just the two of us. Now, 58 partners have been rated, and Linda has a growing permanent team behind her. Which brings me onto my next point…

Linda’s has been so much fun to work with! But it’s not only Linda, it’s everyone at K2 that has made every day so enjoyable. The energy that the office brings really is so vibrant, and there’s never a dull moment, especially not in the Compliance team! It’s nice to hear that everyone is really surprised that I’m a placement student – that’s a really nice compliment. It feels like I’ve gone over and above what a typical placement student does, and for that I have to credit K2.

And last but certainly not least is the KINETIC Conference in Barcelona… it would be rude not give the event a mention. I had been at K2 not even four months (along with many other new starters), and then flying out to Barcelona with the entire company couldn’t have been way to meet all of our global offices.

Over the last year, you have been involved in so many of K2’s sustainable developments. What are you most proud of?

There have been so many opportunities that have come my way this year. Being able to host a Sustainability Partner Webinar alongside Nick was amazing, as it gave us the chance to report on our progress and encouraged those in our supply chain to join us. With growth of sustainable action within the supply chain – whether a partner is just getting started, or they are achieving awards with EcoVadis for their processes – it’s the efforts we are all putting in that are the most important thing. When I first joined, we had a target of getting 52 partners rated by the end of 2023. It’s the end of July, and we already have 58.

And I can’t forget to mention all the work outside of our supply chain, such as the Sustainability Report, our ISO recertifications, and getting the chance to plant trees outside of Surrey Hospital. It’s impossible to narrow it down to just one!

Any final thoughts or comments?

I guess one final thank you. To Linda, and to everyone at K2. I did not expect this placement to have as much traction as it did. I feel that I’ve achieved so much here, and this year has been so worthwhile. As I go back to Surrey University to present how my placement went at K2, it goes without saying that I’m very proud of my year outside of my studies.

If you’re interested in how you can become involved in our internships and placement years, you can find more information here.

Leave a Reply