Belden formula to get net zero right


Jude Rajesh on Coliseum MENA Image: Jude Rajesh & Belden

Jude Rajesh boasts sound technical knowledge and has more than 25 years of technical experience in designing IT connectivity solutions under his belt. Rajesh joined BELDEN MEA in 2012.

He supports BELDEN customers with design or peer review of IT connectivity solutions for most complex projects like airport, healthcare and modular data center.

Some of his recent peer review projects include stadia in Qatar for FIFA 2022 and the Coca-Cola Arena in Dubai, UAE.


Belden Incorporated is an American manufacturer of networking, connectivity and cable products. The company designs, manufactures and markets signal transmission products for demanding applications. These products serve the industrial automation, enterprise, security, transportation, infrastructure, and residential markets.

Belden is one of the largest US-based manufacturers of high-speed electronic cables primarily used in industrial, enterprise and broadcast markets.

Belden snapshots

  • Founded in 1902, headquartered in St. Louis, US, and has manufacturing capabilities in North and South America, Europe and Asia;
  • Global leader in high quality, end to end signal transmission solutions;
  • Delivers a comprehensive product portfolio designed to meet the mission critical network infrastructure needs of industrial enterprise and broadcast markets;
  • Innovative solution targeted at reliable and secure transmission of rapidly growing amounts of data, audio and video needed for today’s applications; and
  • Belden is at the center of the global transformation to a connected world.

In an exclusive and meaningful exchange with ‘Coliseum’, Jude Rajesh, Solution Consultant, Belden, UAE, shed ‘light’ on how the Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle, Washington, US, which opened its doors not so long back, went on to become a net zero arena. He also pointed out how important it is for venues to reduce their carbon footprints going by the cataclysmic global warming effect which is just waiting to hit the planet in a big way.

Coca-Cola Arena

The Coca-Cola Arena is a multipurpose arena located in the City Walk in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. The venue opened on June 6th, 2019. It has a capacity of 17,000. Owned by Meraas and operated by ASM Global, the arena hosts events that include concerts, sport, family entertainment, and ceremonies.

Informed Jude Rajesh, “I worked in different industries such as in airport design and moved on to arenas, big stadiums such as the Coca-Cola Arena in Dubai. I have seen Coca-Cola Arena from a piece of paper – from architectural design to what it is today and enjoy the experience of working with multiple contracts, coordination issues, etc.”

Disruptive technologies

Added Rajesh, “Belden’s forte lies in cabling. So, we are working from behind the screen and enable venue operators to deliver the best content and deliverables so that fans walk out of the stadium with smiling faces. If there is a problem in delivering the content, there is a problem with the infrastructure, and this is where Belden pitches in. We get involved with the venue project from the concept design stage till the project is delivered.”

Talking about disruptive technologies, he observed, “Belden brings the most futuristic technologies. Today, there are disruptive technologies like eGaming. It is changing the way how arenas are going to operate in the future. So, in every industry, in every 10 years or 20 years, there are disruptive technologies coming up.”

eGaming encompasses the total electronic gaming industry from video game consoles to PC and mobile games, online streaming services as well as the eSports industry.

Climate Pledge Arena

The 17,459-capacity Climate Pledge Arena is a multipurpose arena in Seattle, Washington, United States. It is located North of Downtown Seattle in the 74-acre entertainment complex known as Seattle Center, the site of the 1962 World’s Fair, for which it was originally developed.

Climate Pledge Arena – case study

The Climate Pledge Arena is in Seattle and is similar to the Coca-Cola Arena with a capacity of almost 18,000. The arena first opened in the year 1962 and was recently renovated in 2018 by the American Global Advisory, Development and Investment Company for Sports and Live Entertainment industries – the Oak View Group (OVG).

Rajesh further elaborated about the arena, “When Amazon took the 1.2 billion dollars naming rights of the facility, instead of naming it as the Amazon Arena, they named it as the Climate Pledge Arena to communicate a message to everyone that the environment holds top priority and how each one of us can contribute, what is the Government level contributions, the developers or even a single user, each one of us have a commitment to this climate change happening all around and how to help mitigate the grave global warming impacts.”

Belden as a manufacturer played a key role in the Green initiative of the Climate Pledge Arena.


  • The original Climate Pledge Arena’s roof has been designated a historic landmark;
  • Global pandemic occurred in the middle of the project thus challenging on time completion; and
  • Ambitious sustainability objectives.

He talked about the three challenges involved in the project.

Original design challenge

The Belden official pointed out, “The original design which the arena wore in 1962 became an iconic landmark of Seattle. So, the City Council made it clear in no uncertain terms that the original design of the arena could not be tampered with. Consultants and engineers found a way to work around. The challenge was that they have to still build an iconic arena without changing the existing roof. So, it was quite challenging. This has got nothing to do with Belden. It is more to do with engineers and architects and they found a solution to it.”

Pandemic challenge

The Climate Pledge Arena project started in 2018 and finished in 2021. Right in the middle, when the project was moving ahead with full steam, COVID-19 spelt doom on the world in March 2020 with the United States bearing the major brunt -“All of a sudden there was huge manpower shortage and lockdowns.”

Logistics challenge

Asserted Rajesh, “And the greatest challenge was the logistics part. It was a nightmare.”

How Belden addressed the project challenge?

  • Share product lifestyle data;
  • Reduce costs and labor with Belden FiberExpress cable, Fusion Splice on connectors and Enterprise Closet X® (ECX) Patch Panels and REV Connect®; and
  • Project support from inception to completion.

In 2016, Belden began conducting product lifecycle analyses as part of its commitment to measuring and reducing the environmental impact of its products. This data could be used not only to measure performance and track progress, but also to provide Climate Pledge Arena with the information it needed.

To meet ambitious sustainability objectives, the Climate Pledge Arena followed sustainable construction practices and sourced environmentally responsible materials. Thanks to environmental product declarations (EPDs), certified by a third party, Belden was able to share product-lifecycle data so the arena could make informed decisions.

EPDs disclose the environmental performance of an individual product based on a lifecycle assessment (LCA), which examines raw material acquisition, manufacturing, marketing, distribution/shipping, use of the product, and product disposal.

To create its enterprise network infrastructure, the Climate Pledge Arena relied on Belden FiberExpress cable, Fusion Splice-On Connectors and Enterprise Closet X® (ECX) Patch Panels, as well as REV Connect® performance and reliability over mechanical splice connectors. Because no crimping, polishing or adhesives are required for termination, errors and installation time were reduced.

Green goals

Rajesh pointed out, “The Climate Pledge Arena was high on the sustainability quotient and they wanted to be net zero. There is a difference between net zero and gross zero. So, what are the solutions and how we addressed them? The first challenge was the roof rider put forward by the City Council and it was all about the engineering part. They went 15 feet or five meter down, developed more space, more seats to accommodate 18,000 fans. The entire exercise was carried out as per the design and the challenge was addressed.”

Cable talk

He continued, “Now, the next part comes to manufacturers like us – how did we support them during the pandemic. Before that let me talk about product lifecycle data. What does that mean? Being a cabling company, can you imagine how many meters of cable the Coca-Cola Arena boasts? There is more than 165 kilometers of copper cable running around this building. There are more than 180 kilometers of fiber cables running around the Coca-Cola Arena. I am not even talking about the other cables like lighting control, BMS, IBMS. So, if you keep talking about thousands of kilometers of cable running around in this building, now the point here is how such a large content of material has been delivered into this building, how much we pollute while manufacturing these cables in someplace else.”

Environmental Product Declarations

Talking about Environmental Product Declarations, he stated, “The developer is getting thousands of kilometers of cable manufactured in some other country. How much water is consumed, how much energy is consumed, how energy-efficient they are, what kind of a workflow, this is called lead design or Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) for every manufacturer. It applies to cabling, it applies to every material. This EPD program helped developers or the Oak View Group (OVG) to achieve additional points of meeting their sustainability goals while implementing the Climate Pledge Arena project.”

Manpower crisis

The pandemic was accompanied by the acute labor shortage problem – “We came up with a product which is easy to install and saves money. For instance, like I talked about thousands of kilometers of cable, there are so much of terminations to be done. A technician usually delivers 100 terminations a day. But with our cutting-edge technology, the same technician could deliver 200 terminations, and also saved on time. With our solutions, the work which is usually done by 10 people, can now be delivered with the help of five persons. When the COVID clobber had hit the world hard, there was huge manpower crisis, and the Belden solutions helped the Climate Pledge Arena operators to overcome the labor shortage problem. It helped them save both time and money.”

Carbon footprints

Stated Rajesh, “What is the first thing which comes to our minds when we talk about sustainability? Solar panel, windmill, maybe rainwater harvesting, what else? To reduce carbon footprints left behind by arenas, the entire people movement system should be streamlined. In the case of the Coca-Cola Arena, such an arrangement should be worked out that people can get down from the Metro and come straight to the venue. No transportation required means drastically reducing the carbon footprints. Such ideas are still in the conceptual stage and every other arena is thinking of implementing the same.”

Digital electricity

For content to be delivered in a seamless manner in the arenas, there should be uninterrupted supply of power. The Wi-Fi facility in stadia requires ample amount of DC power. The 5G facility getting rolled out in most plush venues around the globe too requires sufficient and continued power supply – “How do you get optimum power to these devices so that one can save power? For instance, for security reasons, several cameras are installed in a building. Each camera is consuming 30 watts of power and if 1,000 cameras are installed, 30 kilowatt of power is being consumed. Even if one saves 10 percent of it, it comes to 10 kilowatt which translates to saving a huge amount of electricity.”

Belden Digital Electricity™ Cables allow end-users to take advantage of Digital Electricity, safely providing lots of power over long distances. The cables were designed in conjunction with VoltServer, the creator of Digital Electricity, to ensure that they will support applications in all situations. Cables are available in hybrid copper/fiber constructions to transmit power and data over long distances in a single cable run.

Rajesh further elaborated what digital electricity is all about – “When electricity is transmitted digitally, one could transmit the same for more than a kilometer. One could scale up with digital electricity and operators could do with fewer rooms in an arena which means less power consumption.”

The above solutions offered by Belden helped the Climate Pledge Arena achieve its net zero goal. And Belden played a very strategic role in this net zero journey of the Arena – “And there was sufficient energy generated through renewable energy and water consumption.”

Sustainability lessons

  • The Climate Pledge Arena has inspired us all to reach for more sustainable designs; and
  • Important to support the technology required to measure and report progress on a regular basis.


Lessons learned

Rajesh concluded by stating that while getting involved in the Climate Pledge Arena project, the Belden employees learned two critical lessons:

  • Belden as the logistics manufacturer – with factories all around the globe – is able to respond quickly to any peak demand as the company’s factories are standardized – “If there is a demand from North America, we could ship material from China, Europe or wherever and it is the same standard manufacture. So, this helps us quickly scale up to the demand in any part of the world”;
  • The digital electricity – “Belden saved 10 percent of their IT load”; and
  • The third aspect is the data-centered design. The content delivery issue all boils down to the data center – “The switch fabric, we are not talking about 10 gig. We are talking about 400 to 600 gig, how we designed it.”


Grand opening

October 2nd, 2021 was the on-time Grand Opening of the Climate Pledge Arena with seven times Grammy Award winning Coldplay performing a unique show presented and streamed live by Amazon Music.


Achieving net zero requires operationalization in varied social, political and economic spheres. Social, political and economic considerations need to be taken into account while trying to attain the net zero goal.

The team at Belden deserves a huge pat on their backs for playing a crucial role in Climate Pledge Arena’s successful implementation of net zero. The company has proved that they are indeed responsible towards the environment and can aptly be termed the ‘Green Guardians’.

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