Responsibility at BVB:

United by Borussia!

Borussia leads the way!

United by Borussia!

Borussia leads the way!

Responsibility at BVB:


match day!

Our game plan

Sustainable development at BVB


“Football as a reflection of society.”

Dear Reader,

The past season has demonstrated more than almost any other the extent to which football reflects our society and how social, economic and ecological developments and upheavals affect us as a community.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is an unimaginable act of aggression in Europe that has led to immense suffering and untold destruction. Borussia Dortmund has taken an unequivocal stand against the war, and, with the overwhelming support of our fans, is working to help ease the pain and suffering of the people of Ukraine and their compatriots who have fled and now live in and around Dortmund. We would like to thank all of our employees and volunteers for all they have done!

To say that we are proud doesn’t quite strike the right chord. The question is, what does it mean when we send one e-mail asking for help and over a hundred people sign up in a single day to help pack a shipment of relief aid for Ukraine? It means that we can say with complete certainty that many of our fans are eager to volunteer their time to lend a helping hand – however they are able. It also demonstrates that football remains a powerful force for good that must be protected and promoted by all means. This is particularly true at a time when the protections offered by other social structures are waning.

Of course not everybody subscribes to this notion. There are those who contend without nuance that football is out of touch with the real world, and we strive every day to refute this conclusion, through cold, hard facts. We believe it is important to point out that most active fan communities – not just those of Borussia Dortmund – play a valuable part in shaping a culture of discussion on key social issues. This, too, is a reflection of the myriad ways in which football influences the world and vice versa.

Like everyone else, BVB is acutely aware of the toll the war in Ukraine is taking. For one thing, there are the economic effects stemming from the spike in energy prices and a general increase in the price of goods that BVB purchases, which it strives to pass on to customers at reasonable prices. But the general public is understandably also worried about political developments in Europe, job security and putting food on their own tables. One of the many challenges we are currently facing is to ensure that what we offer our fans under these circumstances is offered in a spirit of social responsibility.

Professional football has already taken an extremely responsible approach to the COVID-19 crisis. Given the challenges posed by the pandemic, the past season once again required the utmost flexibility from our employees. In 2022, we began to slowly return to normality as we finally welcomed back fans to our stadium on a few match days. In fact, these match days were anything but normal, as we had to work at full capacity, but with a considerable number of new staff, because we had lost some experienced employees.

The team’s performances in the cup competitions were anything but satisfactory. As a result, we parted ways with Marco Rose and hired Edin Terzić as our new head coach. As we see it, BVB did not make the most of its potential, which is an absolute must if you want to compete on the international stage.

Michael Zorc’s departure after 44 years at BVB represents the end of an era. We cannot praise Michael’s contributions enough, as our fans demonstrated, poignantly expressing their thanks: “Your dreams became our story”.

All the same, we have to look to the future. Michael Zorc’s passing of the torch to BVB’s new sporting director Sebastian Kehl was planned long in advance, but in many ways the new boss is already making his mark. Sebastian’s first moves in putting together the new roster and installing a forward-thinking staff have us brimming with hope for the upcoming season. The goal is clear: maximum effort for maximum success.

In May 2022, Borussia Dortmund underscored its ongoing commitment to promoting diversity and combating all forms of discrimination by sending a 20-strong delegation to visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust Remembrance Center in Israel. Another notable event that received great praise and recognition internationally was BVB’s charity match against Dynamo Kyiv, which helped raise a tidy sum in aid for Ukraine. The constant efforts of so many in the BVB community to promote free and democratic coexistence gives us the confidence and
determination to continue along the path we have chosen.

BVB views the specific sustainability guidelines that DFL Deutsche Fusball Liga GmbH adopted in May 2022 for its licensing regulations not only as an obligation but also as a tremendous opportunity to promote sustainable development in professional football. The specific, long-term challenges that climate change poses are often overshadowed by the emergence of new crises. Nevertheless, Borussia Dortmund is committed to leading the charge by setting itself clear-cut and ambitious sustainability targets and achieving maximum results.

Hans-Joachim Watzke
Managing Director (Chairman)

Thomas Treß
Managing Director

Carsten Cramer
Managing Director

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 mutual 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.


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 and vendors, who are often one and the same on account of their contractual relationship with us. These groups also include authorities, as-sociations, 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.


We remain in close contact with all of these stakeholders because we want to know which topics they consider to be relevant to BVB now and in the future, how they rate our performance and what they expect of us. Our highly-rated service hotline plays a particularly important role in this regard.

With the Fan Delegates’ Meeting, which was held online in August 2021 and in person in May 2022, and the Fan Council, which met every five weeks, we have institutionalised the communication with our various fan groups. A key change has been the establishment of four working groups for the Fan Council. These working groups meet quarterly to discuss merchandising, digital topics, ticketing and match day organisation. We also hosted four fan day events during the reporting period covering various fan-relevant topics.

Some of our press conferences were livestreamed, while others were in-person events. We continued to focus on direct engagement with our employees, fans and business partners. We also remained in close contact with our sponsors. In June 2022, we held our first BVB sustainability round table with our partners and sponsors. This included presenting Borussia Dortmund’s sustainability strategy and outlining the progress made in updating the DFL licensing procedure. The first round table finished on a successful note with a host of positive insights, a lively discussion and an expanded network.

BVB also contributed constructively to the work of various bodies and committees of key associations and organisations. Hans-Joachim Watzke, Chairman of the Management of BVB, took over as Chairman of the Supervisory Board of DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga GmbH and as DFB First Vice President also sits on the DFB Presidential Board, representing German professional football. He is also a European Club Association (ECA) Board member.

The licensing rules for the 2022/2023 season set out stricter requirements concerning the dialogue between clubs and fans. BVB was part of the working group that drew up the new rules. Substantively, they also reflect some of the elements BVB already has in place in its dialogue with its fans.

The club remains in regular contact with the City of Dortmund and regional authorities as well as with emergency services (German Red Cross, the police, the fire brigade) and other authorities. We are in close contact with our vendors to discuss expectations, existing processes and possibilities, especially with regard to making our portfolio of merchandising products more sustainable.


Our material topics

In December 2017, Borussia Dortmund GmbH & Co. KGaA published its first sustainability report, the 2016/2017 Sustainability Report, prepared in accordance with the GRI Standards, and has updated the report every year since. The 2021/2022 Sustainability Report was prepared on the basis of the underlying GRI Universal Standards, which were revised in autumn 2021.


In applying the GRI Standards, an organisation is required to primarily disclose its most significant impacts on the economy, environment and people, including impacts on their human rights. In the GRI Standards, these topics are referred to as the organisation’s material topics.
Furthermore, since the 2017/2018 financial year, the Group – i.e., Borussia Dortmund GmbH & Co. KGaA as the parent company with its subsidiaries – is legally obligated to report on environmental, social and employee issues, its respect for human rights and its efforts to stamp out corruption, pro-vided this is crucial for understanding BVB’s financial position. These statutory disclosures are pre-sented in this Sustainability Report, which includes the “separate non-financial group report” (see reference in margin).


In accordance with GRI 3 2021, the first step was to identify the impacts in the context of the organisation, which is always changing. BVB remains in regular contact with its stakeholders for this purpose.
Using the insights gained from the stakeholder dialogue, BVB’s potential economic, ecological and so-cial impacts were identified for each of the focal points. In spring 2022, internal decision-makers and the Fan Council then evaluated and subsequently prioritised the significance of the impacts in a structured process.


The following factors were taken into account when selecting the potential impacts that were included in discussions with decision-makers and the Fan Council:

  • Assessments of the economic, ecological and/or social impacts;
  • Interests and expectations of shareholders;
  • Economic, social and/or ecological interests and topics raised by external stakeholders;
  • Current and future requirements in the sector;
  • Applicable laws, guidelines and international or voluntary agreements and requirements of the DFB and the DFL that are of strategic signifi-cance to BVB and its stakeholders, such as the DFL licensing requirements from 2023/2024;
  • Central values, guidelines, strategies, company management systems, objectives and require-ments;
  • UN Global Compact requirements;
  • Human rights;
  • The core competencies of BVB and the way in which they can contribute to the development of sustainability;
  • Consequences for BVB relating to the economic, ecological and/or social impacts, e.g., risks to the business model or reputational risks;
  • UEFA’s overall requirements for EURO 2024: ISO 20121, ISO 50001;
  • Increasing sponsor expectations;
  • External, reputation-relevant ratings: S&P, Moody’s, CDP, IÖW, EcoVadis, Cum Ratione, etc.;
  • Requirements under the German Supply Chain Due Diligence Act (LkSG);
  • Increasing fan expectations – social appeal.


The severity – significance – of the respective eco-nomic, ecological and social impacts was assessed during structured interviews with the relevant decision-makers at BVB and the responsible directors as well as part of a Fan Council workshop. The im-pacts were given a score of 1 (low significance) to 6 (high significance) points.


Once the significance was assessed, the impacts were grouped into topics and prioritised. The impacts that have an average score of more than 4 were classified as material topics and assigned to one of the five focal points of our work. The mate-rial impacts are thus taken into account in BVB’s sustainability management. The assessment of the significance of the impacts and their prioritisation led to the following changes compared to the prior-year report:

  • The focal points of our work “Always working hard to stay on top: Professional football” and “Always promoting young talent: Dortmund lads” were combined under the “Always working hard to stay on top: Professional football” focal point of our work. This would include the two material topics “Peak performance” and “Promoting youth football”.
  • The material topic “Fan community and fan behaviour” was renamed “Fan community”.
  • The material topic “Media and social networks” was renamed “Communication”.
  • The material topics “Financial performance” and “BVB brand” were combined as the “Economic success” material topic.
  • The material topics “Responsible procurement”, “Product safety and product quality”, and “Service quality” were combined under the new material topic “Supply chain and product responsibility”.
  • The material topic “Compliance and risk management” was eliminated, as this will – in accordance with the requirements of GRI 2 General Disclosures 2021 – be covered in the “General disclosures” section and thus remain a part of the separate non-financial group report.


As a result of the aforementioned process, 16 material topics have been defined in consultation with the management in five focal points of our work and are covered in this Sustainability Report along with their management approaches.
Always working hard to stay on top: Professional football.

Sustainable development


Statement of the management on the UN Global Compact

Borussia Dortmund is the first Bundesliga club and only the second European football club to join the United Nations Global Compact. The UN Global Compact (UNGC) is the United Nations’ voluntary business initiative for sustainable and responsible corporate governance.

As a relatively new participant, Borussia Dortmund supports and promotes the UN Global Compact’s ten principles on human rights, labour standards, protecting the environment and fighting corruption. We are committed to integrating the UN Glob-al Compact and its principles into our corporate strategy, corporate culture and day-to-day operations and to participating in cooperation projects that serve to promote the general objectives of the United Nations, in particular the Sustainable development Goals (SDGs). Borussia Dortmund clearly communicates this commitment to its stakeholders and the general public.

We recognise that a key condition of our participation in the Global Compact is that we must report on our Company’s efforts to implement the ten principles in an annual report known as the Communication on Progress (CoP). We believe in being held publicly accountable and in the importance of transparency and are therefore committed to re-porting on our progress annually in line with the Global Compact Communication on Progress Policy.

We are honouring that commitment with this Sustainability Report for the 2021/2022 season.

Hans-Joachim Watzke
Vorsitzender der Geschäfts­führung

Thomas Treß

Carsten Cramer



1. Businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights.
2. Businesses should make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses.


3. Businesses should uphold the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining.
4. Businesses should uphold the elimination all forms of forced and compulsory labour.
5. Businesses should uphold the effective abolition of child labour.
6. Businesses should uphold the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.


7. Businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges.
8. Businesses should undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility.
9. Businesses should encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies.


10. Businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery.


The first and second Bundesliga divisions have become the first major professional football leagues to include binding sustainability guidelines in their licensing regulations.

The fundamental aim of the guidelines is to ingrain sustainable development throughout DFL e.V.’s organisation going forward and to simultaneously establish a framework that the clubs can use o take action and promote development. BVB supports this approach. Accordingly, in this report we present the club’s progress with regard to the individual criteria by flagging the respective text passages appropriately.

As BVB specified at the beginning of its structured sustainable development process and in its reports prepared in accordance with the internationally recognised GRI Standards, clubs will have to take a holistic approach that spans their actions in every area in order to implement these criteria. Furthermore, sustainable development is by definition never static, meaning that any strategies, concepts or courses of action will have to be reviewed on a regular basis and refined in an ongoing process.



BVB’s aim is to be one of Europe’s elite football clubs on the pitch and also one of the continent’s most sustainable clubs through its decisive actions, and to be perceived as such through its credible, straightforward and transparent communication.

What sustainable development means for BVB is to act in a way that satisfies the needs of today without restricting the opportunities of future generations, while giving equal consideration to the three dimensions of sustainability – economic efficiency, social equity and environmental viability. BVB uses its sporting and financial success to assume responsibility, which is tied closely to Dortmund and the surrounding region, and recognises sustainable development as a guiding principle at global level.


Our five sustainability principles

  1. Our athletic development and the commitment to our values are the root of our fans’ and employees’ devotion and loyalty – and our success as a whole.
  2. The community with our fans in Dortmund and around the world is at the core of everything we do and is based on understanding and sharing.
  3. Our business activities revolve around foresight, fairness and a responsible range of products and services and factor in the risks and opportunities of digitalisation.
  4. We use our appeal to promote social advancement through social commitment, democratic education and health-related initiatives.
  5. We design our events, products and services to be environmentally friendly, climate neutral and to save resources.


The 2030 Agenda recognises sport as an important enabler of sustainable development and acknowledges the growing contribution of sport to the realisation of development and peace in its promotion of tolerance and respect and the contributions it makes to the goals of sustainable development. The SDGs and sport complement each other in numerous ways.

This is illustrated most closely with regard to the following goals: “Good health and well-being”, “Quality education”, “Gender equality”, “Decent work and economic growth”, “Reduced inequalities”, “Sustainable cities and communities” and “Peace, justice and strong institutions”. On the basis of our defined sustainability principles and the ten principles of the UNGC, we are working in interdisciplinary teams across departments to define quantifiable objectives and the corresponding measures for our material topics, which we will then implement as a part of our five newly-defined focal points of our work.

In our opinion, linking the five focal points of our work with the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the United Nations as part of its 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is the logical step in bringing BVB forward. The graphic above presents which focal points of our work and which material topics relate to which SDGs.

Each focal point of our work and its respective material topics have been assigned SDGs to which we believe we can make the greatest contributions at different levels. These are presented in the corresponding sections of the focal points of our work contained in this report.


Our match-winners
As part of BVB’s holistic approach to sustainable development, we have identified areas that, given the current significance of their ecological impact, we will prioritise and continue to improve upon. To this end, we have launched five long-term, overarching projects that we have dubbed “match-winners”.


News about the five focal points of our work