As the end of 2022 approaches, I would like to take a moment to look back at everything that has happened over the past 12 months. I can already tell you now: I am very proud and pleased with everything we have accomplished with team LCL this year.
From a business perspective, it has been a fantastic year for LCL Data Centers. We celebrated our 20th anniversary, launched several new initiatives and services such as Fibervision, and saw our customer base grow. We have also made significant progress on our company's sustainability goals, thanks to the hard work of our team. As we look ahead to the future, we feel bold and excited about what lies ahead.
We must, of course, also take a moment to reflect on changes that have taken place globally in 2022. The war that broke out in Ukraine this year is horrific. This has also resulted in a number of consequences that could not have been predicted. We saw a huge increase in gas and energy prices, which then affected inflation. This also had a big impact on us as a data center company. We are grateful to be in a growth industry, where the opportunities are plentiful and a lot of innovation is happening that allows us to weather the storm.
At a national level, I note that, despite the many changes, the economy has held strong. Unemployment has remained fairly stable. In fact, at LCL, staff numbers have increased by almost 10%, which currently makes us the largest data center company in Belgium. The management team has welcomed two new members: Commercial Director Baudouin Corlùy and Human Resources & Office Manager Fabienne Frisson. It's fantastic to see everyone doing their work with great conviction. I am proud of this dedicated and loyal team. It shows that LCL takes good care of its employees and functions well as an organisation. And all of this despite the fact that our work is not easy: we constantly have to deal with new needs, new customers and new developments. This illustrates the perseverance that so characterises LCL, something we can be immensely proud of.
Something I am also very excited about is the review of our strategy. We have worked hard on this within the organisation over the past year. Our focus in this regard continues to be on customer intimacy and sustainability. Our recent customer satisfaction survey showed that our customers are very satisfied; however, as a customer-centric organisation, we want to continue to surpass ourselves. We will roll out action points next year to continue building the future of LCL.
Sustainability is what sets us apart, and we have also invested heavily in this throughout 2022. This year, we have made significant strides with the Climate Neutral Data Center Pact. We are taking part in this initiative with around 25 other cloud providers and data centers, with the goal of being climate-neutral by 2030. The beauty of such a self-regulatory initiative is that you can take control. Legislating takes years, but we can accomplish our goals faster.
In addition, we started working on the Science Based Target Initiative (SBTi). We have developed a measurable reduction plan to reduce our CO2 emissions to 1.5° over the next few years in order to meet the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement. An important feature of this is the new generators we installed this year at LCL Brussels-West (Aalst). These run on the renewable fuel HVO100, resulting in 90% fewer emissions. Other sustainability plans that took place this year include the expansion of our solar panel park in Gembloux and the living space for sheep that we created as a part of biodiversity. I think 2022 is characterised for LCL as a year that saw concrete implementation of a number of developments that are very important to LCL, especially in terms of sustainability.
This is one of the reasons why we started with the creation and implementation of an ESG strategy this year. We are doing this together with KPMG. We identified 15 topics that are important and also aligned with our vision. The ‘Environment’ topics are very important for our sector, of course, especially climate change and energy management, for example. Also of great significance are the ‘Governance’ topics, e.g. in the area of security and certification. As a technical company, the ‘Social’ topics (human resources, diversity, development) may perhaps be communicated less quickly, even though we do attach considerable importance to them. We want a pleasant and safe working environment for our employees. With customer intimacy as our strategy, this plays a particularly important role. In 2023, we will publish our first ESG report.
Apart from the strategic developments in our organisation, it has also been a great year for LCL as an organisation in the data center industry. To our surprise, for example, we won a special award this year: the Data Center Services Company of the Year at the Data News Awards.
In addition, we have focused heavily on the media sector in 2022, including our Media Talkshow on digital transformation in the media and broadcasting industry. In doing so, we also successfully launched our ecosystem, allowing a number of media clients to work better with each other and use the budgets in a more effective manner.
I look back on 2022 as a successful year. Our industry is dynamic, and that makes it very interesting to work in. Many people think the work we do is about square footage, power, racks and the like. Although that is true on the one hand, it really is about something much bigger: it's about what customers are doing with our infrastructure, ecosystems, co-creation and how we can help them move toward the digital future.
Thank you for being part of the growth of our company – I can't wait to see what 2023 will bring.