Welcome to INVEST Version 1.0!
- We want to hear from you! What ideas do you have to make INVEST an even better tool for evaluating and improving transportation sustainability? Submit your comments here.
- Two new case studies provide examples of how transportation agencies are using INVEST to improve sustainability.
- Download INVEST user toolkit.
INVEST, the FHWA Sustainable Highways Self-Evaluation Tool
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) launched INVEST 1.0 in October 2012 with a national webcast, including remarks from the Deputy Adminstrator and video footage of INVEST in action.
INVEST (Infrastructure Voluntary Evaluation Sustainability Tool) was developed by FHWA as a practical, web-based, collection of voluntary best practices, called criteria, designed to help transportation agencies integrate sustainability into their programs (policies, processes, procedures and practices) and projects. While the use of INVEST is voluntary, it can be used by transportation agencies, such as DOTs, MPOs, Council of Governments, public works departments, and their consultants and partners, to evaluate and aid the integration of sustainability into their programs and projects.
INVEST considers the full lifecycle of projects and has three modules to self-evaluate the entire lifecycle of transportation services, including System Planning (SP), Project Development (PD), and Operations and Maintenance (OM). Each of these modules is based on a separate collection of criteria and can be evaluated separately.
INVEST is intended to identify and recognize above-and-beyond efforts towards sustainability. Although many agency efforts could already be considered sustainable, if the efforts are typically required, no credit will be earned within this self-evaluation tool. For instance, there is no credit for completing NEPA documentation because it is required for federally funded projects and by many states.
INVEST Version 1.0 was developed through research and analysis of sustainability best practices in the transportation field. The original Beta Version criteria, released in the fall of 2010, were written by subject matter experts, and then were reviewed, modified, and vetted through valuable stakeholder feedback. After revising based on this feedback, the Pilot Test Version was released for testing and evaluation across a broad spectrum of agencies, projects, programs and geographies. INVEST Version 1.0 reflects substantial revisions made to the criteria and web-based tool based on the pilot testing.
Transportation and Sustainability
Transportation projects and programs serve many different, and sometimes competing, objectives. “Sustainability” is a concept that enables decision-makers to make balanced choices around these objectives. The three principles of the “triple bottom line” upon which sustainability is based—social, economic, and environmental—capture the broad range of transportation goals and objectives. In times of diminishing economic and natural resources, using sustainable approaches in transportation infrastructure will help us to continue to enhance quality of life and serve the transportation needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.
What is the Purpose and Intent of INVEST?
FHWA's INVEST is designed to provide information and techniques to help agencies integrate sustainability best practices into their projects and programs. INVEST is intended to provide guidance for practitioners to evaluate the sustainability of their transportation projects and programs and to encourage sustainability progress within the field of transportation. It is not required and it is not intended to encourage comparisons between transportation agencies. INVEST was developed with input from state and local transportation agency officials and staff and professional organizations such as AASHTO and ASCE. FHWA will continue to update INVEST as the transportation sustainability field continues to advance.