A hard year, with the pandemic that has hit the construction sector with blows of closures, stop activities, delays in public and private works: a scenario of great challenge that saw CEA - Cooperative Construction Apennines, reality of Monghidoro (Bo) with subsidiaries in Romania, Libya and Lebanon, demonstrate its strength, its resilience and the importance of the innovative drive that the company has in its DNA. This is what the 2020 budget recently approved by the Shareholders' Meeting says: value of production unchanged compared to the previous year despite the restrictions imposed by Covid (61.4 million euros), over 118 million euros in new orders acquired in full pandemic (+74%), 51 new recruitments between employees and workers, almost 2 million euros in investments in equipment and new machinery, and a great boost to innovation that has given rise to important patents and futuristic work tools.

"Between March and April 2020 we recorded a contraction in the volume of business of about 40% - explains the president Giuseppe Salomoni (in the photo in the gallery), who is also president of Confcooperative Labor and Services ER - but, thanks to our innovative patents, the reopening found us ready, responsive and willing to start activities and projects always focusing on the health and safety of all our employees. The results that we record today are the result of careful planning, important partnerships, well-considered strategies trying to make use of even the long periods of slowdown of activities and, above all, the great commitment that every single person who is part of CEA has put in place even in the most difficult moments. Before Covid we had set ourselves even more ambitious goals: we consider them only briefly postponed while we can say satisfied that the cooperative has not only withstanded the impact of a global pandemic but also knew how to react to the global crisis scenario"

In this context, some relevant data stand out: 'in 2020 we increased our order portfolio by over 74% - continues Salomoni - from 158 million euros at the end of 2019 to over 223 million at 31 December 2020'. To drive this increase they have been above all the segment of infrastructures (that it has seen to join intense activities for beyond 58 million euros, +371% regarding 2019) and maintenances (with beyond 47,8 million euros in new contracts, +84%) to which they join beyond 6,5 million euros for works abroad. To this is added the significant increase in the workforce: 51 new recruitments that have brought the CEA's workforce to 400 units:"At a time of general crisis for employment - Salomoni comments - we have chosen to give a signal: the new orders have opened spaces to enlarge our team and we have chosen to do so with more structured contracts, without recourse to temporary collaborations or contracts administered through interim agencies".

If the trends record all the sign more is also due to the important investments that CEA has put in place, in recent years, on the innovation front: "For CEA it is an essential area - explains Salomoni - in which we have invested internal and external resources. We believe that the concept of Industry 4.0 can have significant repercussions also in the construction world which, by tradition, is the most reluctant sector to adopt digital technologies". And the results were not long in coming: 'Our R&D department has registered several patents that are proving crucial for our activities: from the first rain water management system to MBSM, an innovative method for the maintenance of dams and basins in Asphal Dams, without forgetting Jobsafer, our system for monitoring the use of personal protective equipment by workers, eco-sustainability'. masks included, which allowed us to restart at full capacity last spring. Finally, last but not least, our new 'zero waste' asphalt used in construction sites for the maintenance of gas, water and sewerage lines and the first protagonists of our green revolution in the sign of eco-sustainability.