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A small yet meaningful step towards a socially just transition


06 Jun 2024


APPLiA donated an energy-efficient Daikin air purifier to HOBO, an association dedicated to providing shelter, support and opportunities to people in need.

The donation is part of the campaign APPLiA launched about the benefits of making energy-efficient appliances accessible and affordable to all. This initiative, aligned with the industry’s proposed Roadmap for 2023, urges the incoming EU leadership to prioritise a socially just transition. 

As part of this effort, on April 9th APPLiA hosted the third edition of the Score4Charity event, a table soccer tournament bringing together representatives from European Institutions, industry experts, and non-profit organisations for a good cause. On the day, 14 teams competed to win an energy-efficient appliance to be donated to a local charity of their choice. Winners of this year’s competition were Mattia Pellegrini and Francesca Bartolomucci, who elected the local asbl HOBO, dedicated to providing shelter, support, and opportunities to those experiencing homelessness, to receive the tournament prize as a donation. The latter consisted of an Air Purifier generously offered by APPLiA member company Daikin to support this noble cause, delivered today to the premises of the charity located in Brussels. 

Anthony Dimou, Daikin Europe's General Manager Sales, emphasised the meaning of this initiative: "This donation is a small but significant step towards improving the living conditions of those in need. The transition to a climate-neutral Europe also brings an increased social responsibility, both for companies and legislators."

Founded in 1992, HOBO’s mission is to support individuals without a stable home by providing tailored solutions to the ones seeking aid, based on their needs. These include access to digital services such as a laptop or an email address, documentation, language classes for newcomers, integration into the job market, but also leisure activities like sports, cooking, or creative ateliers.

Homelessness often hits the most vulnerable, excluding them from society, and costing lives that could be valuable resources to the community, if they only had a chance to. Many struggle not only with securing shelter but also with maintaining access to housing or essential services. Enabling access to activities that promote personal development and psychological relief gives everyone the chance to create their own positive history, discover their talents and purpose, and plan for a happier future. 

The centre welcomes around 2000 people every year, shaping a secure network for those in need, a space that is not only physical but also safe to rely on. Daan Vinck, Director and Team manager at HOBOwelcomed the initiative: “This donation will help us improve the living environment for those in our care”.

The world keeps moving forward, why are so many left behind?

The current economic situation, with rising housing prices, rising energy prices and higher inflation since 2021, has increased inequalities and worsened poverty in the EU. It is estimated that 50 million households in Europe live in energy poverty, lacking access to essential energy services and products and struggling to pay bills. Energy poverty is a multi-dimensional issue, caused by a combination of factors such as high prices and low levels of income. That is made worse by living conditions in buildings with low energy performance and using older and inefficient appliances. 

At least 42% of Europeans cannot afford to buy a dishwasher. However, by washing dishes by hand, they end up consuming 10 times more water than what would be needed to run a dishwasher, with a significant impact on the bill. Getting caught into an endless cycle where “being poor” ends up being more expensive than being rich.

"Sustainability lives in three dimensions, the environmental one, the economic one, and the social one. Focusing all the efforts only on environmental sustainability, while leaving fragments of the population behind, makes the whole exercise ineffective." said Paolo Falcioni, APPLiA’s Director General.

To reduce energy consumption, lower bills and decrease carbon emissions, Europe needs to ensure a general dissemination of advanced sustainable technologies for all citizens, including those who cannot afford them. Energy-efficient appliances offer a proven and cost-effective solution for reducing emissions and fostering sustainable development. By improving efficiency, we can bolster climate resilience by making appliances more affordable, thereby expanding access to a broader population. 

Alleviating energy poverty is a key precondition for achieving a just transition. Advanced energy-efficient and sustainable technologies should be accessible and affordable to all, just as a roof over your head should be.