Acuity Brands 2020 Annual Report

“We are a team of curious individuals seeking innovative solutions to problems before our customers ask for them.“

President and Chief Executive Officer

Letter to Stakeholders

Thank You from the Executive Chairman

The year 2020 marks my last year, and in some ways, my best year with Acuity Brands. It has been a privilege to have led our remarkable associates at this great Company over the past 15 years. We accomplished a great deal together including successfully navigating one of the greatest technology transformations faced by any industry with the advent of digital lighting. I am delighted that Neil Ashe agreed to succeed me as CEO as he recognized the great potential of our Company and the opportunity to create great value for our stakeholders.

Executive Chairman

The Board of Directors’ choice of Neil as our next leader culminated an orderly succession plan that began a year before. Neil has a very successful track record of profitable growth through innovation and the ability and vision to take actions and implement strategies that will enhance this industry and our world in ways that have not been done before. He and our global team of associates are going to do great things together and continue to light the way into the future.

Within weeks of Neil’s appointment, the COVID-19 pandemic arrived and forever changed our business and our world. It was my delight, but not my surprise, to witness first-hand Neil’s remarkable leadership and the fortitude, adaptability, and determination that our team of associates demonstrated to keep our Company operating safely and effectively. They did not miss a beat.

Today, Acuity Brands, the market leader in North America, is financially and organizationally strong and positioned for growth in the years ahead. Neil’s vision and entrepreneurial leadership along with investments we have made in the past, position us well for the future. We have established a solid operating foundation that our team consistently and creatively executes from with excellence, regardless of outside pressures.

I would like to thank all our stakeholders – shareholders, customers, partners, suppliers, associates, and the many communities where we operate – for the loyalty and support they have shown me throughout my time here. I have enjoyed our interactions and relationships and those memories will no doubt be the first thing I think of when I reflect on my wonderful years at this Company. Thank you for our journey together. It has been a privilege and an honor to be a part of the Acuity Brands team.

I am very excited about the Company’s future…and I firmly believe that Acuity Brands’ best days are ahead.

Executive Chairman

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Selected Financial Data

(dollars in millions, except for diluted earnings per share)


Total Assets


Fiscal 2020 Net Sales


Total Cash


Net Income


Total Debt


Diluted Earnings
per Share


Free Cash Flow


Return on
Stockholders' Equity

View Financials

EarthLIGHT is our comprehensive approach to ESG.
Through it, we coordinate our efforts around Environmental, Social, and Governance topics, improve our performance, increase transparency, and better highlight our results on numerous ESG issues.


We are committed to reducing the environmental impact of our products and solutions, driving efficient use of raw materials, and operating our facilities in an intelligent, environmentally friendly manner. In these ways, we also help our customers reduce their impact.


At Acuity Brands, the most important investment we make is in our people. That’s why we offer so many ways they can improve themselves and their contributions to Acuity Brands. We are creating a leadership infrastructure specifically to aid in employee development. Training and education are becoming greater priorities as well. In particular, manager training is important because good managers produce engaged employees.


We recognize and embrace the value of diversity and the benefits that diversity can bring to our Board. Diversity promotes a breadth of varied perspectives, allows for robust discussions and well-rounded decision-making, and ensures that we can benefit from all available talent. The promotion of a diverse Board makes prudent business sense and better corporate governance.

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