Responsibility at BVB:

Supporting the community

Shaping the future

Supporting the community

Shaping the future

Responsibility at BVB:


match day!

Our game plan

Sustainable development at BVB


Borussia unites!
Always has, always will.

Dear reader,

Borussia Dortmund unites – it always has, and it always will. We put everything into delivering on this promise, and have made dramatic progress in many areas. This report documents the steps we have taken to improve our athletic development, our economic performance and our social and environmental responsibility. It presents an overall picture of our work in these fields and highlights how these efforts are often interconnected.

Let’s begin with football: we can confidently state that Borussia Dortmund has once again won the hearts of its fans. It was a delight to see how our team’s performance in 2018/2019 improved compared to the previous season. The team’s mentality, creativity and ability to dictate play earned them the acclaim of their fans on the last match day to cap off an outstanding season in which they finished in second place.

We will aim even higher in the coming season and set our sights on winning the Bundesliga. On the one hand, we are already reaping rewards from the rebuild. On the other, we did not hesitate to take the next step in the current summer transfer window: after all, investing upwards of 100 million in the squad was a considerable, yet economically sound decision.

You can see how important tomorrow is for us from the ongoing success of our Youth Academy: the U19 team again won the league, while the U17 lads were only narrowly defeated in the final. We are also investing approximately EUR 20 million to expand our training ground by 2021 and to continue to provide our lads with first-rate athletic and professional training conditions.

Implementing these long-term measures requires a basis that is both financially sound and geared for the future. Where personnel is concerned, Borussia Dortmund has already laid the groundwork for the future. A team of dynamic and highly competent employees and leaders is well prepared to face the challenges that lie ahead. We have formulated a sound growth strategy with the aim of generating EUR 500 million in revenue (excluding transfers) by 2025 in order to ensure the club remains competitive. Sponsorships, internationalisation and digitalisation are to be the driving forces.

With all we are doing to achieve economic success, it is particularly important to avoid losing sight of our roots. We have to be keenly aware of when we’ve reached the limits of commercialisation. Borussia Dortmund is expressly against raising ticket prices by more than the rate of inflation and is aware of the importance of the club’s actions for society at large.

Our work is thus more than a mere response to multi-faceted societal issues. Together with its fans, partners and staff, Borussia Dortmund has adopted an attitude and approach that leverages the club’s appeal and popularity to effect lasting change in our society.

More than six years ago, Borussia Dortmund made the decision to consciously promote a culture of remembrance and to make the fight against right-wing extremism and discrimination a mainstay of its work. In light of the club’s own past, which also included BVB officials supporting Nazi authorities, and the current challenges arising from the potential for right-wing extremism in Dortmund, we feel obligated to do our part to fight every form of discrimination. We want to promote and defend our democratic way of life.

This culminated with our trip to Israel in early 2019 and the special recognition we received for our wide-ranging efforts. A Borussia Dortmund delegation was invited to attend the Holocaust Remembrance Day commemorations in Israel and the cornerstone laying ceremony for the new Shoah Heritage Campus at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Remembrance Center.

We are planning a BVB fan and youth centre in Dortmund so that we can consolidate our civic engagement activities and efforts to connect the past, present and future all under one roof.

Last but not least, we also have to and want to tackle ecological issues. Be it the switch to reusable cups which we implemented together with outside experts, or matters concerning mobility, the use of resources and environmental protection: We take pride in the fact that we began addressing key sustainability issues even before the “Fridays for Future” movement took hold.

Our dialogue with our various stakeholder groups was and is extremely helpful in this regard. We have set ourselves an initial three-year planning and implementation period in order to further drive forward Borussia Dortmund’s sustainable development as a whole.

We hope you enjoy reading our reports and we look forward to hearing your comments.

Hans-Joachim Watzke
Chairman of the Management

Thomas Treß
Managing Director

Carsten Cramer
Managing Director

Our stakeholder dialogue

Our stakeholder dialogue

BVB touches on the interests of many different people. This is why maintaining dialogue with our stakeholders is a matter very close to our hearts. Our aim is to strike a balance between different interests to the greatest degree possible and to further build trust on a permanent basis. When we communicate with our various stakeholders, we provide transparent information on our decisions and actions and their ramifications so that we may receive feedback to help us improve further.

Our stakeholders

Borussia Dortmund’s actions and activities have a profound effect on various partners, stakeholders and interested parties whose relationships are often intertwined. Conversely, depending on the extent of their relationship with the club, these stakeholder groups can also influence decisions at Borussia Dortmund. These groups include not only our fans, club members and employees, but also sponsors, vendors, authorities, associations, the media, our neighbours, the City of Dortmund and the surrounding region, that make demands and have expectations of BVB or that are influenced by the club. As a listed company, Borussia Dortmund is also attentive to the objectives, needs and interests of its shareholders.


Structured dialogue

We use a range of different formats to promote ongoing dialogue with all of these groups: we conduct stakeholder surveys, organise dialogue events on specific topics and exchange ideas in discussion and information forums or as part of our work with various associations. Press conferences are held at regular intervals. We also maintain ongoing dialogue with the City of Dortmund and other local and regional authorities.

We also communicate with our members, our fans, visitors to SIGNAL IDUNA PARK and our business partners on a regular basis. We want to know which topics they consider to be relevant to BVB now and in the future, how they rate our performance regarding the individual topics and what they expect of us.

With the Fan Delegates’ Meeting (Fandelegierten-Versammlung), which is held twice a year, and the Fan Council, which meets on a regular basis, we have set up bodies that communicate continually with our various fan groups.

We maintain regular, close contact with emergency services (German Red Cross, the police, the fire brigade) as well as specific organizations of the City of Dortmund and its region, in the context of match day planning. Borussia Dortmund works closely with the DFB and the DFL and currently chairs the German Association of Stadium Operators (VdS).

Fan Council, 12 June 2019

Fan Delegates’ Meeting


Our material topics

Borussia Dortmund is confronted with a host of topics that have a significant economic, ecological and/or social impact and that significantly influence the assessments and decisions of our stakeholders and are thus considered material. Borussia Dortmund has recorded these topics methodically and assessed their significance with regard to their impacts and their influence on stakeholder assessments and decisions.

Basis of reporting

We take the principles of completeness, materiality and stakeholder involvement and the current internationally recognised standards for sustainability reporting set out by the “Global Reporting Initiative” (GRI) as a basis for determining what our Sustainability Reports will cover. Our reports were prepared in accordance with the “2016 GRI Standards (Core option)”. Unless indicated otherwise, all figures pertain to the 2018/2019 season.

Although the GRI Standards were prepared for all organisations regardless of the sector they operate in or their location, professional football covers a very special field and differs in many respects from traditional enterprises. In order to take this into account, the “Athletic development” material area was added to expand on the GRI system and the “Fans, members and society” topic was included to expand on social issues. All of the information in this report essentially pertains to Borussia Dortmund GmbH & Co. KGaA, with the exception of the information on the club’s members, which are organised under BV. Borussia 09 e.V. Dortmund. The “leuchte auf” non-profit foundation is also an independent entity.


Which topics are particularly important to our long-term success based on our corporate social responsibility? What are the social, ecological and economic impacts of our activities and what do our stakeholders expect of BVB in this regard? In order to answer these questions, we began examining the relevant topics methodically in 2017. The analysis aims to assign weightings to sustainability topics, with the involvement of our stakeholders, based on their importance to BVB in terms of their impact and to take these topics into account in our business activities. We initially identified an assortment of topics in early 2017 that we then grouped into larger areas and evaluated in cooperation with Ruhr University Bochum. We then derived the material areas and topics, which were then reviewed and defined more precisely in 2018 with the assistance of external experts on the basis of workshops, interviews and surveys held in the course of a structured stakeholder dialogue process.

As part of the annual review at the beginning of 2019, these topics were reviewed with regard to completeness and their impact assessment and adjusted in line with the latest insights. This year’s review was conducted by the internal Sustainability Working Group, which includes representatives from all relevant corporate areas, and by means of a workshop with the Fan Council. The following adjustments were made to the terms and classification system used in the previous year’s report on the 2017/2018 season on the basis of the comments and suggestions we received:

The description of the materiality matrix’s x-axis was changed to “Significance of economic, ecological and social impacts” in line with the current translation of GRI 101 “Foundation” (2016).

The “Diversity and anti-discrimination” topic is now its own topic, having previously been included in the “Fan community and fan behaviour” topic. This is due to the significance of the work (including a donation of EUR 1 million to Yad Vashem) and the creation of an independent department “Diversity and anti-discrimination, fan and youth centre”. Reporting on the two topics separately also reflects BVB’s more nuanced approach to managing the topics. The significance of the impacts of both topics was again assessed as high.


We also expanded the scope of the area “Fans and club members” to “Fans, club members and society”.

The “Our financial performance” topic was rated higher in terms of the significance of its impacts. This increase reflects the fact that BVB devised a growth strategy during the reporting period.

Due to its increasing importance for professional football and the feedback from the Fan Council (including with respect to the current discussions surrounding Financial Fair Play), the “Compliance and risk management” topic was rated higher both in terms of the significance of its impacts and its influence on stakeholder assessments and decisions.

The “Promoting youth football” topic was rated higher in terms of the significance of its impacts. This is due to the ongoing implementation of the concepts developed in connection with the planned investment in the Youth Academy and the efforts to strengthen the U17 to U23 youth squads.

The “Energy and emissions” topic was rated higher in terms of the significance of its impacts because of the decision made during the reporting period to introduce an energy management system in accordance with DIN ISO 50001.

In total, 25 topics were identified as being material due to the significance of their economic, economic, ecological and social impacts on BVB and their influence on stakeholder assessments and decisions. The following factors were taken into account when defining the material topics:

Business model, strategy and material risks: The central values, guidelines, strategies, objectives and requirements of BVB, company management systems, value chain and material risks were taken into account.

Key sector-specific aspects: The main topics and future requirements in the sector were identified by conducting interviews with BVB managers and specialists.

Interests and expectations of relevant stakeholders: The interests and expectations of the stakeholders that have invested in BVB were identified by surveying members of the Supervisory Board and sponsors. The economic, social and/or ecological interests and expectations of BVB’s other stakeholders were identified by including fans, authorities, the association and club representatives in the stakeholder dialogue process.

Impact of activities: The economic, ecological and/or social impacts as well as the consequences for BVB relating to the economic, ecological and/or social impacts, e.g. risks to the business model or reputational risks, were assessed on the basis a three-year estimate.

Political and regulatory influencing factors: The applicable laws, guidelines, international or voluntary agreements and requirements of the DFB/DFL that are of strategic significance to BVB and its stakeholders were taken into account.

Sustainable development

Shaping the future:
our sustainable development

Strong base and organisational drive

“We’re a strong brand,” stated chairman of the management Hans-Joachim Watzke at the 2019 Annual Press Conference. He again confirmed Borussia Dortmund GmbH & Co. KGaA’s ambitious objective of increasing the club’s revenue to EUR 500 million by 2025 (not including income from transfers). BVB wants to use this sporting and financial success to assume its responsibility, which is tied closely to Dortmund and the surrounding Ruhr region, especially with regard to the club’s sustainable development.

In the summer of 2019, we formed a separate Corporate Responsibility department which handles all social, corporate and ecological issues relating to sustainability. This department will oversee BVB’s “leuchte auf” foundation, as well as the construction project for the fan and youth centre and the topic of diversity and anti-discrimination. Professional sports can be polarising, and we will discuss these issues. Because we understand how and what BVB contributes to society, we feel that we have a particular responsibility to promote these issues, now more than ever. We therefore not only want to have but also must have this social discourse.

The organisational realignment is the result of Borussia Dortmund GmbH & Co. KGaA’s continual and systematic efforts to identify our 25 material topics on sustainability, which we defined as part of an extensive internal and external dialogue process, as described above.


Borussia Dortmund stands for intensity, authenticity, community and ambition and everything we do has a powerful impact. That is why we have made a promise to ourselves and to each and every one of our fans that we will give nothing less than 100% in our passioned and determined pursuit of our goals. We want to help others help themselves and dedicate all of our quality to the service of the team.

This means that every single person at BVB has to take responsibility, also, and particularly so, in terms of our sustainable development. We have defined six specific focal points of our work in this regard to help us shape our future successfully and in a structured manner. The graphic above illustrates the complex relationships between the topics that are material to us and the focal points of our work: everything is interrelated!

3 years – 4 action levels

Three-year plan

In spring 2019, we opted for a three-year structured planning process with specific milestones. This relates to four action levels that we will pursue as part of an integrated approach:

The strategic further development of our corporate objectives in connection with our sustainable development.
This includes fleshing out the management approaches to our 25 material topics with quantitative and quantitative targets. We will efficiently plan our actions on the basis of specific and valid measurable indicators. We will continue to maintain the important link to risk management while staying focused on those aspects affecting the Company as a whole.

Ongoing dialogue with our internal and external stakeholders.
We will continue and build on the stakeholder dialogue process we began. We hope to receive valuable insights from our partners in the supply chain and our longstanding sponsors, who have already begun to address the issue of sustainability. The Company’s Sustainability Working Group includes representatives from different departments and has already made valuable substantive contributions to our further development. This continuous exchange between the new department and the corporate functions is very important to us.

The specific and practice-based implementation of measures in the aforementioned focal points of our work.
In the “Acting responsibly. Together.” section of this report we present the measures we took with the six defined focal points of our work in the 2018/2019 season. The SWOT analysis described further below, which we carried out in the summer of 2019, will result in further plans for sensible measures. The next step will be to discuss these measures in the Working Group, after which we will present the measures in the next report.

Transparently and authentically communicating our development to our employees, fans and external stakeholders. This not only includes our annual Sustainability Report but increasingly also a lively exchange of ideas on current topics both within the Company and online.


As part of our annual reporting process, we evaluate the management approaches we apply to the material topics, which are described in the reports, at regular intervals and then adapt/update them accordingly. The more we address the individual topics and collect information on the key performance indicators, the more a system of continuous feedback, also with our stakeholders, emerges. This allows us to transparently communicate how we are performing in terms of the objectives we have set, including information on the progress we have made and on any areas in which there might still be room for improvement.

This has allowed us to lay the foundation for seizing the opportunities that arise in the course of our efforts to address the material topics and for identifying any corresponding risks early on – a key step in the process.

Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats

We first discussed the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in working groups, taking the current risk inventory into account. After identifying all strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats we then determined what needed to be undertaken and proposed specific actions in coordination with the relevant departments and the management. The process is underway and we will publish our results in the next report.


News about the focal points of our work