1947. Men at work at the Sabbioncello Channel

1950, Aosta. A rare moment of repose of the working members on Sunday

1951. Reinforcing the banks of the Po in the Province of Rovigo

1957. Laying pipes for the water supply of Arezzo

1960. Flooding of the river Secchia in Cavezzo (Modena)

1962. Excavations for the aqueduct of Montefreddi in the Emilian Apennines

1964. CPL made his first pipeline in Castelfranco Emilia

1971. Building networks and gas processing plant in Livorno

1975. Construction of the natural gas network of Rovereto (Trento)

1978-79. Expansion of the headquarter's building in Concordia

In the early 90's CPL develops some billing software

1999. CPL celebrates the centenary of its foundation

CPL CONCORDIA COMPANY HISTORY
1890-1899: The Cooperative is founded in Concordia

On April 23, 1899 in Concordia in the province of Modena in the presence of Mr. Edgardo Muratori, Notary Public, a well-known enlightened liberal, "Associazione fra gli Operai Braccianti dell’ex Mandamento di Concordia" was established as a cooperative without capital restrictions. The deed of association was signed by 382 workers, the majority of whom were illiterate. Each of them pledged to pay the amount of 30 Italian lire per share. Almost all of the signatories were members of the association of the same name established in 1890 that was dissolved by the authoritarian actions of the Di Rudinì government taken against organizations with socialist leanings. The Cooperative, which had increased to 1500 members in the first years of the last century, was involved in excavation work, land reclamation work, the construction of canals, and the construction of embankments for containing and regulating water. In fact, one of the first jobs for these manual laborers using wheelbarrows was to repair the embankment along the Secchia River.

1911: CPL was one of the founders of the Provincial Federation of Labor Cooperatives

The Cooperative was one of the founders of the Provincial Federation of Labor Cooperatives of the province of Modena.

1922-28: Work orders commissioned by the Land Reclamation Consortiums increased

The Burana and Parmigiana-Moglia Land Reclamation Consortiums and the Civil Engineers of Modena commissioned the Cooperative to execute various canal construction and railway section (for example, the Mirandola-Rolo section) construction projects.

1929-1945: The international economic crisis and the war. CPL suspended its activities

The Italian and international economic crisis had severe consequences for the Cooperative, which was re-established in September 1934 with just 23 members. Due to a lack of work and the government's hostility toward the Cooperative's political views, which prevented the acquisition of work orders, CPL suspended its activities. Although the Cooperative remained inactive for almost a decade (until 1945), it was not dissolved.

1946-49: decauville tilting wagons replaced wheelbarrows

The Cooperative began operations immediately after World War II with excavation work on the Sabbioncello canal for diverting the Po River. This is the period in which portable steam-engines and Decauville tilting wagons began replacing wheelbarrows.

1950-1951: from Aosta to Agrigento over Italy's roads

CPL CONCORDIA was commissioned to construct roadways in the provinces of Modena, Mantova, Rovigo, Agrigento, Pavia, and Aosta. Many of these acquired works were located far from the Cooperative's headquarters in Concordia, with all the inherent risks and difficulties that this implied.

1954: Bruno Bighi became THE Technical Manager

The surveyor Bruno Bighi (Carpi, province of Modena, 1929-2001) was the first trained engineer hired by the Cooperative. He was CPL's Technical Manager from 1954 to 1984 and made a decisive contribution to laying the foundations of today's Cooperative. His intuition and determination to advance his "new ideas" regarding methane gas and the development of related activities made him a key figure in the technological development of CPL: the beginning of construction of the methane gas distribution networks, conversion of internal systems to gas, management under subcontract of gas distribution networks, and the energy sector. President Giuseppe Tanferri described how that work relationship and friendship began in 1954: "We understood the importance of having a relationship and qualifications with the Civil Engineers for the works involving the Secchia River; we looked for a young surveyor. The Modena Cooperatives Consortium informed us about this young man from Carpi, Bruno Bighi: he worked during the day, and in the evening he went to Modena by bicycle to study surveying. He willingly accepted to come to work at CPL. At the Cooperative we were all just blue-collar workers, so having an engineer seemed like a great accomplishment." In memory of Bruno Bighi, the conference room in Concordia used to host the Shareholders' and Members' Meetings was named after him.

CPL CONCORDIA diversified its activities by entering the water sector and beginning construction of the Arezzo and Monghidoro (province of Bologna) water pipelines. New construction materials were employed: the Mariana canal (province of Mantova) in 1960 was the first work executed by CPL using reinforced concrete.

1958: Giuseppe Tanferri, "the President who did not belong to himself"

Giuseppe Tanferri (Concordia, province of Modena, 1915-2007) began working with a wheelbarrow for CPL on land reclamation and canal construction projects. He was the President of CPL from 1958 to 1976. In the docufilm “Il lavoro e la giostra” (Work and the Carousel), produced by Alessandro Baraldi, CPL Publishing, he discusses his ideas regarding the Cooperative. To the question, "If you could speak to the young men and women who are starting work at the Cooperative, what would you tell them?",  he replies: "I have always felt like a man who does not belong to himself, but to a company. I felt like a member of the working class and I was only interested in working within the context of the working class. The Cooperative was an organization that organized jobs and completed them by means of its members, not employees. It is very difficult to discuss these concepts today, ideals to be pursued no matter what the cost." "What is the best and most important memory of your time as President?” “It was a battle that I had to fight personally: the changeover from earth to iron, that is, from earth movement works to water and gas distribution networks. This allowed the Cooperative to follow a different, better path."

1964: Castelfranco Emilia, the first natural gas distribution network constructed by CPL

When the market for road work showed signs of a slowdown, the solution to the serious crisis that had engulfed the Cooperative for three years was found in the changeover to constructing methane gas distribution networks. The first distribution network of CPL's "energy turning point" was built in Castelfranco Emilia; with the experience that was gained in the field, it is now the first of more than 200 distribution networks designed and constructed by the Cooperative in every region of Italy, from Trentino to Sicily.

The first gas services, from conversion to the Safe Gas Service

In the early 1970's the construction of supply networks was augmented by the conversion of gas equipment from town gas to methane gas (work requiring a high degree of expertise, which was gained at Italgas). The first conversion works were performed in Novi Ligure. These were quickly followed by works in Leghorn, Cesena, Vercelli, Lucca, Pistoia, Legnano, La Spezia and 30 other municipalities. Subsequently CPL developed the Safe Gas Service, which involves regular checks and testing of equipment using methane gas in the home to ensure that the safety regulations are being observed and to provide suggestions on how to achieve savings.

1976: Roberto Casari, a technical expert who became President at the age of 22

Roberto Casari (Cavezzo, province of Modena, b. 1953) began working at the Cooperative as a heating and electrical technical expert in charge of converting gas systems. In the five years from 1970 to 1975 he gained in the field all of the technical expertise regarding the working methods and work orders of CPL's business lines. In April 1975 he was appointed Vice President. In the meantime both the incumbent President, Giuseppe Tanferri, and the Technical Manager, Bruno Bighi adopted the view that Roberto Casari was a person who could bring dynamism to the Cooperative despite his youth. In April 1976 at the age of 22 he was elected President of CPL CONCORDIA: at that time the Cooperative had 80 members and a turnover of 14 billion Italian lire.

Under his guidance CPL CONCORDIA took advantage of opportunities for development (the installation of methane gas distribution networks in southern Italy in the 1980s) and began a series of activities that would become fundamentally important for the Cooperative's growth: heat management, cogeneration, and district heating. He promoted the strategy of having the Cooperative put down roots in the various areas of Italy (currently 11 headquarters and 40 offices) and the push toward the internationalization of the Cooperative by establishing an ad hoc structure for supervising the Cooperative's international activities. In 2013 he is preparing to become the President-elect for the 37th time. Among the various honors that have been bestowed upon him, the Italian President Giorgio Napolitano in 2011 awarded him the title of Cavaliere dell’Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana (Knight of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic).

1978: The first storage facility for odorizer in Italy

CPL constructed a storage facility for methane gas odorizers in Concordia. It is the first of its kind in Italy to be built in compliance with the specific environmental protection regulations. From this facility CPL's special vehicles supplied the gas distribution networks of municipalities, municipally-owned companies, and private concession holders.

1980-82: New areas and new activities. The installation of methane gas distribution networks in southern Italy and energy management

In the 1980s the government decided to promote the installation of methane gas distribution networks in southern Italy; CPL participated in their construction. The management of gas distribution networks under subcontract and under concession began at this time and involved dozens of municipalities within a period of just a few years. In the same period CPL took a new direction in the fields of district heating, heat management, and cogeneration with experimentation (Totem FIAT).

1985: Severo Barotto viene nominato Vice Presidente

Severo Barotto (Mirandola 1947 – Concordia 2014) ha lavorato in CPL CONCORDIA per oltre 37 anni. Ha svolto mansioni operative in cantiere, per poi ricoprire la carica di Vicepresidente e Direttore del Personale della cooperativa fino al 2006.

1986: the CPL Group's launch

The company decided to pursue progression by establishing CPL CONCORDIA as a holding company for several subsidiaries and associated companies: Metanodotti Polesani (1986) and Co.Gas (1989) were among the first companies; they were acquired to grow in the field of the management of supply networks under concession. In 2013 the CPL Group will be comprised of more than 80 subsidiaries and associated companies.

1999: a century of great energy

CPL CONCORDIA celebrated its first 100 years. For this special occasion was planned a series of events, books, and documentaries, as well as a photography exhibit with historical photographs (“CPL CONCORDIA 1899-1999: A Century of Great Energy”). The Cooperative's honorary members and famous people from the world of politics and economics were in attendance (including Sergio Zavoli, Everardo Dalla Noce, and Enzo Biagi). The German company Thüga AG (E.ON Group) became a shareholder of Co.Gas within the context of managing the gas distribution networks.

2001-2004: CPL enters the Exploration & Production sector

Through the acquisition of BiGi RIMI Italia from British Gas, CPL CONCORDIA completed its range of natural gas activities in the sectors of E&P (Exploration & Production) and the marketing of raw materials: The mineral assets acquired consist of concessions and exploration permits, both onshore and offshore in the Adriatic Sea.

Internationally CPL established a presence in China with the development of a joint venture in Tianjin, and projects were initiated in Romania for the construction of gas distribution networks. Large work orders were acquired in France and Greece, and the distribution and sale of methane gas was implemented in Argentina.

2004-2006: COOPGAS was founded as a natural gas sales company

COOPGAS, CPL Group's main methane gas sales company, began operations. Through the acquisition and construction of new gas distribution networks in the catchment areas of southern Italy, the number of gas concessions for which CPL managed the methane gas or LPG distribution network at the national and international level increased to 130. Large district heating lines were constructed at the Malpensa and Linate airports, and in Modena innovative geothermal energy and building automation projects were completed.

2007: CPL constructed the largest public photovoltaic power system in Italy

CPL Concordia constructed the largest public photovoltaic power system in Italy at Carano (Val di Fiemme, province of Trentino-Alto Adige): 500 kW of power, with almost 3000 silicon photovoltaic solar panels (stationary and mobile) able to produce more than 625,000 kilowatt-hours per year. It was the first of a series that by 2012 reached 40 MW of installed solar power. Important developments were achieved in the use of Tyfon absorption refrigeration units built by CPL (Linate Airport), and with regard to cogeneration the field was extended to agricultural biomass, livestock waste, and waste treatment sludge.

2009: CPL celebrated its 110-year anniversary and lit a candle on Ischia

The anniversary was celebrated with a series of six conferences on the subject "Man, Cooperative Work" and the publishing of a photobook ("Ot[t]ore," Business Media Sole 24 Ore), a book of accounts "Per chi verrà dopo di me" (For Those Who Will Follow Me) (published by Rubbettino), and the film "110" directed by Roberto Rabitti (winner of the 25th Torino Film Festival). CPL Group had 1250 employees (of which 520 were members), a turnover of more than 300 million euros, and net assets of more than 110 million euros. As a birthday present it lit the first flame on the island of Ischia: project financing of 18 million euros for the first Italian island after Sicily to receive methane gas (by means of 13 km of underwater pipelines and 45 km of urban networks).

2010: Internationalization led CPL to India and increased in the Maghreb

In New Delhi was established CPL Energy India Private Limited, a joint venture for exporting gas distribution technologies and renewable energy resources to the Indian subcontinent.

The turnover in Algeria increased: of particular importance from a technical and project point of view was the work performed at the Hamma ad Algeri gas turbine power plant. The CPL Group operated directly in the Maghreb through the Algerian-law company Aipower. In Bondeno in the province of Ferrara was inaugurated the largest agricultural biomass power plant in Italy (4 MW), which produces energy by means of cogenerators installed by CPL.

2011: a year both solar and smart

The largest photovoltaic arrays in the regions of Tuscany (Pisa, 3.7 MW) and Abruzzo (Torano, 1 MW) began generating renewable energy. CPL proceeded with development of the smart metering technologies for gas distributors after being awarded the largest Italgas European contract for the new volume converters, with 25,000 correctors to be installed in the two-year period 2010-2011.

2012: the earthquake did not stop the Cooperative: a record year for both solar energy and cogeneration

After meeting the necessary requirements CPL CONCORDIA was issued the OHSAS 18001 Certification for its Occupational Safety and Health System. International development proceeded with work orders for 10 million euros in the new large turbines maintenance division (Oil&Gas and Power Service). In May 2012 the Cooperative's headquarters in the province of Modena were hit by an earthquake that registered 5.9 on the Richter scale. Damages of 20 million euros were sustained, but not one person was injured of the 600 employees, who were able to return to work immediately thanks to the smart campuses set up under tents. In the months immediately following the earthquake, the Cooperative constructed a 6.2MW photovoltaic array on the roofs of the Agrifood Center in Bologna and placed into service 30 cogeneration systems.

2013: CPL pointing towards the R&D and wins the Oscar for Statements

CPL points strongly towards the research and development of technologies related to energy efficiency and smart cities. Public lighting management grows also thanks to the development of LED technologies. Abroad, the internationalization process sees the debut of the CPL Group in the United States and Poland, with offices and activities in the field of cogeneration. In May, the company follows the SA8000 Certification on Corporate Social Responsibility in respect of human rights of children and work. In December, CPL Concordia won the Oscar for the Financial Statement in the category of Financial FERPI "Unlisted Companies and Large Companies."

2014: Investment in R&D and energy efficiency

In 2014 CPL increases the research and development of technologies related to energy efficiency, thanks to the certification 50001 on the Energy Management System. In this year, it's constitued the company named Meter Italy SpA, the new reality in the market for gas meters (both smart meters and traditional mechanical ones) formed by the merger with Coop Bilanciai and Sacofgas 1927 SpA.

2015: trigeneration for Lamborghini and a new governance for the cooperative

In 2015 new energy plants (trigeneration and district heating) open at the Lamborghini Automobili premises. These plants are realised by CPL CONCORDIA for the historical headquarters located at Sant’Agata Bolognese.
In Sardinia, Cooperative dairy producer “Assegnatari Associati Arborea” is the first Sardinian project ever to make use of natural gas thanks to an innovative LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) plant accomplished by CPL. This plant can generate thermal and electric energy for the dairy producer’s industrial needs. Procurement is performed by Polargas, a CPL Group member company that operates in LNG sales and transportation.
Judiciary events that hit the Cooperative lead shareholders to implement a total renewal of the governance, with a new Board of Directors chaired by Mr. Mauro Gori, a new Supervisory Board and new tools to ensure legality.

 

110 is a video about the 110 years of cooperative

For those who come after me
Ott[o]re: in the spaces and times of a day's work
Man, work, cooperation: 6 conferences for 110 years