October 30, 2017 //Boston, MA – Trillium Asset Management is pleased to announce that we have successfully withdrawn our workplace equality shareholder proposal at Acuity Brands (NYSE: AYI) following the company’s changes to its Code of Ethics and Business Conduct to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