Sustainability: Investors aren't always keyed in to this factor as an investing catalyst. However, corporations are increasingly recognizing it as a sound business practice. After all, increasing efficiency and reducing waste are vital to companies' success.

PepsiCo (NYSE:PEP) is a giant multinational corporation known for sodas, snacks, and chips. However, it's making strides in areas that may still be lost on investors.

When it comes to this kind of evolution, Pepsi has a variety of goals. As just one example, in 2012, Pepsi was able to reuse 91.2% of the solid waste that 260 of its manufacturing plants produced, sending only 8.8% to landfills. 

The soda giant's partner, 3M (NYSE:MMM), awarded Pepsi's Mexican Sabritas unit a sustainable packaging award for a solution that incorporated sustainability into the packaging process in a big way. This solution reduced waste by 70% while ensuring that product deliveries were well executed. The solution also led to a 5% decrease in costs. 

Everyone thinks of Waste Management (NYSE:WM) as a trash hauler, but investors should think about another impressive evolution: It's arguably an energy company, too. In fact, recent data showed that Waste Management's waste-to-energy projects rival the output of solar energy in the U.S. 

Motley Fool senior analyst Alyce Lomax says she feels optimistic about the future of our marketplace as more and more companies retool these parts of their businesses.

Alyce Lomax owns shares of Waste Management. The Motley Fool recommends 3M, PepsiCo, and Waste Management. The Motley Fool owns shares of PepsiCo and Waste Management. 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.