In today’s business environment, it seems like everyone is touting their commitment to sustainability or “going green,” but few markets have embraced energy-efficiency practices like the manufacturing sector.

In a study Eric Mower + Associates conducted among 300 corporate decision-makers, more than one third were in the manufacturing and industrial sector. The vast majority of these individuals (81%) were identified as early adopters in energy efficiency.

Driven by pressure to gain a competitive advantage and produce more faster, cheaper and smarter, manufacturers have turned to energy-efficiency practices for years. Thus, decision-makers in this field know to do their homework. While the C-level is driven by the high-level results that impact the bottom line, the director and manager levels need the details. As the implementers of energy-efficiency measures like process automation or improvements to lighting or HVAC systems, these directors and managers are looking for measurement and verification, predictability of energy costs, increased employee productivity and proof of timely payback.

In addition to improved productivity and profits, our study showed that the manufacturing audience above all others believes that the perception of being environmentally responsible is very or extremely important to all aspects of the company, such as recruitment of talent (45%), acquiring new business (51%), and public opinion (58%).

It’s important to note that while manufacturing is more open to energy-efficiency adoption than other industries, it does not mean they are an easy sell — just perhaps more convinced than others of the benefits of energy efficiency.

Energy marketers targeting the manufacturing sector will need to elevate their messaging to these energy-savvy, well-informed prospects, and know that they can’t rely solely on the tried-and-true benefit of cost-savings.