As the discipline has expanded, so questions have been asked of the limits to the industrial ecology metaphor and its status, by some of the practitioners, as an objective science. Moreover, the emergence of industrial ecology into the policy arena has inevitably presaged normative considerations over the integration of social, political, organisational and cultural factors for the discipline. That is, as with any other arena of scientific endeavour, industrial ecology is subject to mediation via discourses that can result in substantive 'revolutions' in the content and boundaries of the discipline. These revolutions tend to occur when the prevailing approach is unable to resolve increasingly critical dilemmas or problems. This paper seeks to contribute to the industrial ecology discourse by giving consideration to the extension of the underlying metaphor, using the specific example of (bio) diversity to suggest a new and broader set of economic structures and relationships and a more critical perspective that could be brought into the realm of the discipline.