Since the late 1980s, the notion of industrial ecology has attracted increasing attention amoung researchers, most notably in the US and northern Europe. However, this is not yet translated into any significant political or practical awareness in the industrial community. There are several reasons for this. Based on both a state-of-the-art literature review and a discussion of the concept of IE, it is argued that the contemporary approach to IE is flawed. A revised and extended framework for IE is therefore proposed which, with further research, amy improve the future success of its practical applicability.