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With Social and Environmental Impact Features, New Facility Welcomes B Corp and Community Workers

Our Community House, a co-working space dedicated to bringing together and serving the needs of the social sector, has opened in North Melbourne. It’s the latest initiative from Our Community, an award-winning social enterprise and Certified B Corporation that created SmartyGrants, GiveNow and The Institute of Community Directors Australia. Our Community House is working to nurture an environment that supports and builds the impact of Australia’s B Corps and not-for-profit and community organisations. The state-of-the-art facilities, meeting rooms and kitchen spaces provide a high-quality working environment for employees in the social sector.

To fulfill its commitment to a sustainable and socially responsible world, Our Community House includes several environmental and impact initiatives that are highlighted below.

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Environmental Initiatives

Solar Panels

With a roof covered in solar panels, Our Community House generates the maximum 99 KW of power and delivers 30% of its electricity needs. In conjunction with energy efficient lighting, sensor-activated lights and other power-saving devices, these features have reduced energy use in the renovated building by 66%. By the end of the year that will be the equivalent of saving 100 tonnes of coal or planting 3,000 trees.

Waste Management

Our Community House splits waste into recyclables, soft plastics, e-waste, compost and landfill. All organic waste is put into an on-site compost facility and worm farm, reducing what goes to the landfill and providing composted material for use by Victorian farms. Soft plastics are specially recycled, to take pressure off hard plastic recycling and sorting. E-waste is collected and periodically disposed of in appropriate facilities.

Greening Committee

Our Community House has formed a committee to continuously evaluate and improve its approach to sustainability. The Greening Committee also ensures members are educated on how to properly interact with and support the facility’s sustainability efforts.

Impact Initiatives

Data Lab

Data science is the new currency powering social reform. New tools allow us to collect, distill, understand and act on data like never before, hastening the pace of change. Our Community House will ensure the social sector can grasp the possibilities presented by these new tools by trialling and refining new methods for managing and learning from data and disseminating the tools and lessons to the wider social sector to amplify its impact.

Gender Lens

Our Community House has been designed with a strong focus on gender equality and empowerment. All meeting rooms at Our Community House are named after pioneering female activists that made a difference to the social landscape in Australia. A specially dedicated parents’ room is equipped with the necessities for breastfeeding, changing and caring for young children. The signage and bathrooms communicate gender and gender-non-binary inclusivity.

Supporting Regional Australia

While located in the heart of Melbourne, Our Community House has been designed to ensure social sector workers from rural and regional Victoria and interstate always feel at home. Whether they visit just once in their lifetime, they move in for a stint, or they visit weekly or monthly, Our Community House will make sure people from rural and regional Victoria can benefit from the co-location, social innovation and data science focus that the facility fosters.

Space to Create Change

Our Community House has opened its doors to early adopters and offers a range of membership options. An official launch will happen soon once its in-house café, operated by Uniting Care’s Mission Caters, is up and running.

Our Community Group Managing Director Denis Moriarty says the facility’s opening signaled the maturation of the social sector in Australia.

“The world is changing rapidly and this vital sector has to change as well,” he says. “OC House will demonstrate that improving the data and communications capabilities of high-performing social sector organisations, while co-locating in a beautiful space with organisations that share your values and dreams for a better world, can bring about long-term positive structural change.”

B the Change gathers and shares the voices from within the movement of people using business as a force for good and the community of Certified B Corporations. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the nonprofit B Lab.


Our Community House: Co-Working with a Conscience was originally published in B the Change on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Originally posted on B the Change - Medium by B Lab Australia & New Zealand.


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