Resource Conservation

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The Resource Conservation Program supports the Department's Stewardship Goal to preserve and enhance California's resources and assets. The Resource Conservation Program provides this support to the districts through partnerships with the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle). The Resource Conservation Program monitors and supports conservation efforts through information-sharing on the use of recovered materials and the incorporation of recycled content products into the Department's transportation projects. The Department has established that there are many applications where re-purposed materials provide added benefit to the Department's projects.

Resource Conservation Program


    • Sustainable Highways - INVEST


      Welcome to the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) Project Delivery Sustainability web page. Caltrans is committed to preserve and enhance California’s resources and assets by minimizing the environmental impacts of our highway construction and maintenance projects. Caltrans can achieve this goal by building and maintaining a sustainable highway system. The goal of sustainability can be described with the triple bottom line, which includes giving consideration to three primary principles: Social, Environmental, and Economic. A sustainable highway should satisfy the lifecycle functional requirements of societal development and economic growth while striving to enhance the natural environment and reduce consumption of natural resources. The sustainability characteristics of a highway or roadway project should be assessed and considered from implementation throughout its lifecycle, from conception through construction, operations, and maintenance.

      A Sustainable Highways Initiative has been established to assist State and local agencies to document and improve the sustainability of our roadways. The sustainable highways initiative supports the various activities needed to facilitate balanced decision-making among environmental, economic, and social values-the triple bottom line of sustainability. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has developed a tool that identifies characteristics of sustainable highways and provides information and techniques to help agencies and organizations integrate sustainability best practices into highways and other roadway projects. Called the “Infrastructure Voluntary Evaluation Sustainability Tool”, INVEST is a practical, web-based collection of best practices. To learn more or to use the INVEST tool on your project, please visit: FHWA’s Sustainable Highway INVEST Webinar with FHWA/Oct 2013 INVEST/Self Assessment Tool for Transportation Sustainability
    • Fleet Greening

      The Caltrans Fleet Greening Program began in August 2000 as a way to reduce emissions from the Caltrans fleet, and set the example for the use of emerging, clean air technologies. Today the Director’s policy continues to promote an efficient fleet mix and use of efficient, low emission vehicles to lower Caltrans’ use of petroleum as well as reduce emissions of criteria air pollutants and greenhouse gases. Through a combination of regulation compliance, state purchasing policies, and innovative demonstrations implemented, for example, hybrid passenger vehicles, solar-powered equipment, propane-fueled vehicles, low dust street sweepers, diesel particulate filters on heavy-duty, diesel-powered vehicles, two hydrogen demonstration vehicles, and an E-85 fuel ethanol demonstration project.

      More information about the Caltrans Fleet Greening Program can be found at:

      Green Fleet Photo Gallery

    • Climate Change

      The Climate Change Branch manages and coordinates the Department's efforts in response to Assembly Bill (AB) 32: Global Warming Solution Act of 2006, Climate Action Team, Governor's Executive Orders, Administration policies, and related legislative rulings. This Branch provides guidance and consultative services to internal programs and external agencies and maintains an education program on climate change and related energy, environmental, financial, and economic issues. For more information on Climate Change, please see: Climate Change Branch






Updated: Sept 30, 2016