History and the future

Our path

Our history has laid the foundations for the present – this is the story of our growth. The cooperative is not only proud of its history but also committed to a progressive future underpinned by the values with which it has always identified. This is what we stand for.

CIAB was founded in the same way as many other cooperatives in Emilia Romagna in the period after the Second World War. The venture was set up by the Chamber of Labour to help 14 willing participants, seeking new opportunities, to create a new company.

It is a story of enfranchisement typical of the post-war period. The lesson it teaches is as relevant today as it was then and should be bequeathed to future generations, albeit with a few modifications to embrace modernity. Initially the business manufactured domestic heating and water supply systems. The business model struggled with difficulties during the 1970s. The company was only able to overcome the challenges of this period thanks to the unwavering support of the cooperative movement and a radical overhaul of its business model. This new approach was then consolidated in the years that followed.
The cooperative was then able to satisfy the demands of a changing market by expanding its range of products. The company began to manufacture special electrical systems and moved away from a subcontractor installation model to one of direct involvement. These steps were also made possible thanks to the assistance of the Construction Cooperative Consortium (CCC). These changes also enabled the company to branch out into the healthcare and road tunnel sectors. Since 2015 the company has been involved in construction works as a result of shifting market dynamics. These changes have also led to expansion of the environmental care department. Today CIAB is an agile organisation that has embraced diversification to supply customers with a wide range of services with the assistance of Consorzio Integra, a consortium of construction and service cooperatives. We have come a long way without ever forgetting our origins, or renouncing our cooperative values and membership in the Legacoop.