Skip to main content

Randa Raises Bar on Center’s Sustainability Standard

Women’s Wear Daily – Arnold Karr


Randa Accessories is realizing substantial gains — both environmental and financial — from its decision to boost the sustainability standards of its 524,800-square-foot logistics center in the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center.

Originally part of a $25 million infrastructure program unveiled in 2013 and including other Randa facilities, the cost of the Tahoe-Reno logistics center alone rose to that amount as the building received LEED Gold Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, rather than the silver designation originally sought, and invested in additional storage and conveyance systems, an enterprise resource planning system and other equipment and software prior to the center’s January 2014 opening.


With enhancements at facilities in its New Orleans and Toronto facilities, the overall budget came in at about $32 million.

According to Randy Kennedy, executive vice president and chief logistics officer, the Tahoe-Reno facility incorporates an extensive LED lighting system; the use of rigid insulation on interior walls, and modifications to storage systems to reduce the use of corrugated paper, cutting its annual paper usage by 193 tons, the equivalent of 2,780 trees, and helping to lower its airfreight burden by 35,860 pounds a year.

“Our goal was long-term operating efficiency,” Kennedy told WWD. “You have to be as efficient as possible in a highly competitive market. We are passionate about the protection and conservation of the earth’s resources and proud of the stride we have made in this pursuit.”

He estimated that the various savings achieved through energy and materials savings would help the facility produce a return on Randa’s investment within three years, faster than originally planned.

Many changes, such as the use of rigid insulation, were a result of Randa’s ongoing discussions with its customers and partners as they worked collaboratively on sustainability efforts, Kennedy said.

Adjustments to its air-conditioning system in its New Orleans facility helped reduce energy consumption by nearly 400,000 kilowatt hours a year, equal to the energy used by 37 typical U.S. homes. A water-conservation program in New Orleans helped Randa cut water consumption by more than 1 million gallons a year.

Randa took advantage of the Tahoe-Reno facility’s location to tackle its lighting needs. The area receives an average of 300 days of sunlight a year, so, in its most ambitious deployment of a logistics lighting system using LED fixtures first put to use in 2007, Tahoe-Reno was built with both “daylight harvesting” and motion-sensor technology. Lights turn off when adequate sunlight is passing through the building’s 325 skylights and up to half of the lights are automatically turned off when no activity is sensed below.

The LED fixture setup used 46 percent less energy than a system made with T-5 fluorescent fixtures, the company said, constituting a reduction in carbon footprint of about 1,000 tons annually.

Randa’s business has expanded as it’s diversified, picking up companies such as Wemco, Swank and Humphreys in recent years and changing the ways in which its products are stored and shipped. In 2009, the company changed its luggage storage process from one that was pallet-based to one employing non-pallet-based bulk storage and clamp-truck processes for more efficient movement and product picking. The moves eliminated the need for 4,000 wooden pallets and increased storage capacity within the same cubic footprint by more than 30 percent.

With both owned and licensed brands moving through its system, the company established an integrated ERP to bring together all facets of the organization.

David Katz, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of Randa, pointed out that the diversity of its product heightened the need for a new ERP that could address the entire breadth of its product line.

“One advantage to being a private company is that we can make investments that generate returns beyond pure ROI and shareholder value,” Katz said. “The cost to Randa for LEED certification was substantial and well worth the sustainable value to our community. We expect a reasonable long-term financial return on this investment.

“Our business grew, as did our needs,” he concluded.

Popular posts from this blog

Beware of Wombats & Other Vampires

You are surrounded by dangerous WOMBATS. They’re everywhere. Sometimes they hide in plain sight, easy to spot. Other times they are well camouflaged, requiring heightened awareness to identify them. You need to stay alert, it’s important to avoid them. WOMBATs resemble ordinary, productive tasks. However, they are vampires for time and resources, weapons of mass distraction.WOMBATs are seductive. Working on a WOMBAT feels productive.WOMBATs are bad for your career.WOMBATs are bad for your business.WOMBATs infiltrate your work day (and your personal time). Strike them down.WOMBATs may be be ingrained in your company culture: “We’ve always done it that way…” WOMBAT Metamorphosis Alert: A task or project that wasproductive in the pastcanevolve into a WOMBAT in today's environment.Your comfort zone is populated with WOMBATs.More on comfort zones, here.Some people are WOMBATs in disguise. Stay away from them, they are vampire WOMBATs.If you don’t control your WOMBATs, your WOMBATs will…

How Randa and the Fashion Industry are Adapting to DIY

The term 'Do It Yourself' has turned into a phenomenon over the past decade and is continuing to gain momentum, especially in the fashion industry. From interactive design stations at Topshop, to custom shoes at Jimmy Choo, every level of the fashion industry is dipping their toes into the pools of DIY.

"Many industry insiders think it is just the beginning. Ask about the future of fashion, and the answer that is likely to come back (along with the importance of Instagram and the transformation of shows into entertainment) is personalization," says Vanessa Friedman from the New York Times. 

Taking Tips From a Younger Generation

Phyllis Korkki, an assignment editor at The New York Times, visited the garment district in Manhattan to interview designers as part of a story for the newspaper’s Snapchat account. Credit George Etheredge/The New York Times
What Could I Possibly Learn From A Mentor Half My Age? Plenty.

How on earth did I become an “older worker?”

It was only a few years ago, it seems, that I set out to climb the ladder in my chosen field. That field happens to be journalism, but it shares many attributes with countless other workplaces. For instance, back when I was one of the youngest people in the room, I was helped by experienced elders who taught me the ropes.

Now, shockingly, I’m one of the elders. And I’ve watched my industry undergo significant change. That’s why I recently went searching for a young mentor — yes, a younger colleague to mentor me.