When it comes to interesting initiatives that give companies a competitive advantage in the socially responsible area, some stocks are no-brainers. Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ:WFM), Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX), Chipotle (NYSE:CMG), and Costco (NASDAQ:COST) have all gotten plenty of attention for their responsible views on business.

On the other hand, others come as quite a surprise. Trash hauler Waste Management (NYSE:WM) doesn't sound particularly green. Coca-Cola and PepsiCo don't have the greatest reputations in some areas of responsibility, but they're trying to evolve their businesses for a future of changing consumer tastes.

Motley Fool senior analyst Alyce Lomax discusses these companies. With the exception of Coke, they have all been purchased for the real-money Prosocial Portfolio she manages for Fool.com.

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John Mackey, co-CEO of Whole Foods Market, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Alyce Lomax owns shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill, Costco Wholesale, Starbucks, Waste Management, and Whole Foods Market. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill, Coca-Cola, Costco Wholesale, PepsiCo, Starbucks, Waste Management, and Whole Foods Market. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.