The paper presents the potential factors that could contribute to an improvement or deterioration in the environmental impact of agriculture. The analysis of the relevant forecasts and predictions allowed for confirming the hypotheses stating that only the changes in production technologies and techniques can actually reduce the pressure of agriculture on the environment. The expected aggravation of climate conditions of agricultural activity on the global scale coupled with an increase in the population size and demand for food should provide a stimulus to changes of an innovative character. Yet, the future demand for food cannot be satisfied solely through developing and employing the most efficient methods of production - the protection of natural capital is necessary as well. Hence, there is a need for seeking new, 'green' solutions that will be aimed at implementing and disseminating environment-friendly food production systems. In order to improve the use of natural capital, changes in the level of environmental awareness need to take place on the part of both producers and final consumers (households), and - in consequence - co-operators, suppliers and recipients or even States. These are the entities that determine the importance and place of environmental protection in the hierarchy of major strategic objectives pursued by agricultural holdings.