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WFH And Carbon Reduction Prompt EY To Ponder Exit From 377K SF London Office

EY is reportedly considering departing its London headquarters.

Professional services giant EY is considering moving from its London headquarters near London Bridge as its staff increasingly works from home.

The firm is also understood to be looking at how moving can reduce its carbon emissions, according to Bloomberg.

The Big Four auditor has launched a property review of its More London office on the south bank of the Thames, according to people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reported.

EY’s 25-year lease on the circa 377K SF block expires in 2028, and the company is believed to want to relocate to a less carbon-intensive building to help achieve its net-zero target by 2025.

The company is also responding to its staff spending less time in the office after the pandemic changed working patterns. EY shifted to a hybrid policy in 2021, saying at the time that it expected most staff to work at least two days a week from home. 

Occupancy levels are nearly 88% during peak times between Tuesday and Thursday, according to the report. The review is understood to still be in the early stages, and no decision has been made.

“As a growing business with over 20 offices across the UK, we continually review our real estate footprint. We do not comment on speculation,” EY said in a statement.

The London Bridge site, which has been the headquarters of EY’s UK and Ireland business since 2003, houses thousands of staff, including EY’s global executive team.

The site is owned by Kuwaiti-backed St. Martins Property, which turned the former Hay's Wharf into London Bridge City, including the Cottons Centre and Hay's Galleria, and sold the undeveloped eastern part of the site to London Bridge Holdings in 1998.

The 13-acre plot was redeveloped according to a master plan by Norman Foster to create the More London estate of offices and retail, including the former headquarters of the mayor of London and London Assembly. The former City Hall building occupied by the assembly now lies vacant after it moved to east London in 2022.

St. Martins paid London Bridge Holdings £1.7B to reacquire the site in December 2013.