California Department of Transportation

Resource Conservation Program


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


This page last updated May 20, 2014