Industrial society is on a course of conflict with the natural environment. Natural resources are being overexploited and the natural ecosystems are overloaded 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 ecological modernization, a methodological and practical 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 of ecological modernization are being discussed. Its implementation requires a conversion of the economy, a re-orientation of environmental policy, and a replenishment of economic policy. To raise a loan with the ecology, i.e. to better understand 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 author elaborates at some length on these three elements of a necessarily holistic and systemic policy.