CEA was founded in Monghidoro, in the province of Bologna, as limited liability company in 1982, and became a cooperative two years later in 1984; it is thus a unique case of private financial company assets used to incorporate and develop a cooperative.
CEA developed very rapidly in the first ten years: using its organizational flexibility and the training of its workers as strong points, the company was able to quickly acquire important contracts in the public sector, not only locally but also by opening branch offices in Bologna, Imola and La Spezia in a very short period of time.
In 1994, following the introduction of the Galli Law which transferred to water companies the water treatment and networks activities which had until then been the responsibility of municipalities, CEA was urged by the municipally owned company that operated at the time in Bologna and province, to open a company branch dedicated to the construction and management of treatment plants, which are today still the flagship of the Cooperative.
The following year there was another important and truly momentous change for the management and all the workers of CEA: the various operational offices were merged in the municipality of Calderara di Reno, in what is now the headquarters of CEA, in Sacerno (which for the ancient Romans was the geographical centre of the world), at just a short drive from Bologna Marconi Airport. This was a difficult and somewhat painful choice that was made not to deny its origins, but to guarantee a secure future to the more than 200 members of staff which at the start of the new millennium were employed by CEA.
The last decade has not yet become history, but is now news: important changes have permitted CEA to withstand age and time; the historical managers and founders, who still cover important roles in the company, had the strength and wisdom to raise a second generation of young and qualified managers who are ready to face and win the enormous challenges that the global market places in the path of any entrepreneurial organization in order to continue the process of sustainable growth that has always been CEA’s ace in the hole, and has allowed the company to lead a group of highly specialised companies that have permitted a complex and complete structuring of the brand.