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Acuity Brands Expands Workplace Policies to Protect LGBT Employees

October 30, 2017 //Boston, MA – Trillium Asset Management is pleased to announce that we have successfully withdrawn our workplace equality shareholder proposal at Acuity Brands (NYSE: AYI) following the company’s changes to its Code of Ethics and Business Conduct to explicitly prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.

Trillium believes that companies and workers benefit from consistent, corporate-wide, efforts to prevent discrimination, ensuring a respectful and supportive atmosphere for all employees. Research from the Williams Institute has also shown that LGBT-supportive policies lead to positive business outcomes, lower staff turnover, and increased job satisfaction.[1]

Federal law does not provide employment discrimination protection based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Nor do 27 states, including Georgia, where Acuity Brands is headquartered. As reported by the Human Rights Campaign, 82% of Fortune 500 companies have included sexual orientation and gender identity in their workplace policies[2].

Trillium commends Acuity Brands for making these critical changes in promoting an inclusive work environment for all employees, which in our view, is linked to long-term shareholder value creation. By making these changes, Acuity Brands joins the growing ranks of companies who have implemented policies that protect their gay and lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered employees from discrimination in the workplace.

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This is not a recommendation to buy or sell the security mentioned.  It should not be assumed that investments in such security has been or will be profitable. The specific security mentioned was selected by the authors on an objective basis to illustrate views expressed and does not represent all of the securities purchased, sold or recommended for advisory clients. The information contained herein has been prepared from sources believed reliable but is not guaranteed as to its timeliness or accuracy, and is not a complete summary or statement of all available data. This piece is for informational purposes only.

[1] https://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/Business-Impact-of-LGBT-Policies-May-2013.pdf

[2] https://assets.hrc.org//files/assets/resources/CEI-2017-Final.pdf?_ga=2.7597554.1303552094.1508359809-1232997907.1508359809

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