Driving Sustainability – Milieu Celebrates a Decade of Projects and B Corp Certification

Words by Brett Winchester
Photography by Rory Gardiner, Tom Ross & Gavin Green

For 10 years, Milieu has been giving back to communities through a legacy of work, leading the way in sustainable property developments. Nurturing relationships with local residents and neighbourhoods, Milieu works with like-minded builders and architects to drive the industry forward, recently becoming B Corp Certified for the company’s continued efforts.

With 20 completed projects and a portfolio of work with some of Australia’s most influential architects, Milieu knows the way forward is through continued improvement. Based in Melbourne, Milieu contributes to culture and community by creatively focusing on a development’s environmental and overall impact. “As a company, we have long been influenced by our environment and we are guided by a belief that our homes, neighbourhoods and surroundings aren’t merely observed, but are felt,” says Mike McCormack, Managing Director and Co-Founder of Milieu. “Ultimately, we feel that development is not only a creative act but an opportunity for problem-solving and fostering connection with the community in which we live and operate.”

With 20 completed projects and a portfolio of work with some of Australia’s most influential architects, Milieu knows the way forward is through continued improvement.

Milieu Celebrates A Decade Of Projects And B Corp Certification Sustainability Feature The Local Project Image (9)

Mike attunes that this exact ethos was the driving force behind Milieu’s journey to becoming B Corp Certified. “For us, becoming a certified B Corporation was all about having a tool to continually be improving our business,” he explains. “We have always been purpose-driven, so having B Corp Certification has applied a whole new layer of accountability and forward-thinking to each decision we make.” Coinciding with the 10-year milestone, Milieu’s B Corp Certification has continued to encourage the company to lead within the sustainability sphere and overcome challenges through proven actions. “Becoming a B Corp was a challenging process, but enjoyable and absolutely worthwhile. It encouraged us to have important conversations as a team and implement processes that ensure we continue improving year on year.”

Milieu’s commitment to culture and community has most recently been conveyed through Otter Place – a project inspired by the combination of past Milieu developments. Expressing what Milieu envisions for a socially driven approach to urban living, the development of Otter Place put community actioned plans to work. “From the outset, we consider our end owners — who the project is for, what their needs are and what they really value in a home,” Mike says. “We do this through community engagement surveys, site activation, design presentation evenings and various other conversation forums. We also draw on past experience of projects in the area, buyer demographics, and always ask ourselves how we can address current climates and living needs through design.”

Rg Edition Napier 016

By giving back to the community, Milieu directly connects to the everyday lives of those that work, live or commute by proposed developments.

Rg Edition Napier 004

By giving back to the community, Milieu directly connects to the everyday lives of those that work, live or commute by proposed developments. “As part of our commitment to shaping better cities,” Mike reflects, “we work with organisations, partners and employees to contribute to our communities, promote emerging arts and culture, and have a lasting impact on people’s day-to-day lives.” Listening to the ever-changing needs of communities, Milieu cements an enduring presence and a versatile approach to design. “We strive to stay connected to neighbourhoods we love and to the communities that build in our developments. This sentiment saw us open Milieu Hospitality venues within some of our buildings.”

Milieu recently announced the Building Better Cities project, a continuation of the ongoing connection between development and global community. “A global collective of like-minded property developers working to improve standards, practices and outcomes within the industry, we established Building Better Cities to challenge the status quo and promote regular communication and collaboration between a growing like of developers across the world,” Mike explains.

Continuously pushing the established boundaries of community and neighbourhood projects, Milieu leads by example.

Continuously pushing the established boundaries of community and neighbourhood projects, Milieu leads by example. “We view sustainability as a standard and, across all our projects, challenge ourselves to focus on longevity and strategic design rather than tokenistic gestures that provide short-term solutions,” Mike says. As a certified B Corporation, Milieu helps in creating a globally attuned industry, implementing individual, layered and dynamic approaches to each project they encounter.