Process industries are significant global energy consumers, contributing substantially to global greenhouse gas emissions. There is a need to reduce the energy intensity of production and corresponding greenhouse gas emissions, but there are significant technical and non-technical barriers to achieving this. Consultation with industrial and academic stakeholders in the UK established that cost, return on investment and technology performance were key barriers to process industry energy efficiency improvements. However, for low grade heat utilization, stakeholder engagement and strategic mapping found that ‘location’ and the need for capital support for infrastructure were the most critical factors. A large number of institutional issues were also identified which help to explain why, even when efficiency measures deliver environmental and economic benefits; they are not implemented by industry.