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Digital transformation as a strategy to reach sustainability

Ana Maria Gomez-Trujillo (CEIPA Business School, Sabaneta, Colombia)
Maria Alejandra Gonzalez-Perez (Universidad EAFIT, Medellin, Colombia)

Smart and Sustainable Built Environment

ISSN: 2046-6099

Article publication date: 23 July 2021

Issue publication date: 1 December 2022




This paper aims to summarize previous research findings on the mutual relation between digital transformation and sustainability at a firm-level. Up to date, there is a gap in the literature linking both concepts and a generalized call for more studies.


This research uses a systematic literature review of 89 published studies. After detailed content analysis filters, the authors used 75. The authors present the results following the “Six W” guidelines for systematic literature reviews.


Findings reveal that it is possible to suggest a research framework that considers digital transformation as a driver and a predecessor of sustainability. To survive the digital revolution, companies need to enhance their digital capabilities and balance their economic, environmental and social impacts.

Research limitations/implications

The precision of the equation used to search manuscripts might have excluded some critical studies that analyze both topics with different connotations beyond merely “Digital transformation” and “Sustainability.” Moreover, the heterogeneity of the findings makes it difficult to classify the findings in a specific context.


The present paper serves as a base to understand the implications of digital transformation on sustainable development for businesses and societies.



Gomez-Trujillo, A.M. and Gonzalez-Perez, M.A. (2022), "Digital transformation as a strategy to reach sustainability", Smart and Sustainable Built Environment, Vol. 11 No. 4, pp. 1137-1162.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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