Industrial society is still on a course of conflict with the environment. Natural resources are being over-exploited and the natural ecosystems are over-loaded by non-digestable pollutants. Unchanged, industrial society gives no real chance to nature and provides no future for a sustainable development. Therefore, the time has come for comprehensive industrial restructuring, or ecological modernization - a concept, focussing on prevention, innovation, and structural change towards ecologically sound industrial development, and relying on clean technology, recycling and renewable resources . In this paper, some strategic elements of such a concept are being discussed. Its implementation requires a far-reaching conversion of the economy, a re-orientation of environmental policy, and a re-plenishment of economic policy. To raise a loan with the ecology, i.e., to better understand nature and to make use of ecological principles, that is what matters now. Ecological structural change of the economy, preventive environmental policy, and ecological orientation of economic policy seem to be the three main strategic elements to reconcile the interests of man and nature, and to provide for a better harmony between industrial society and the natural environment. The social sciences have to develop the methodological foundations and improve the institutional arrangements for a successful implementation of industrial restructuring or ecological modernization in practice.