Responsibility at BVB:

United by Borussia!

Borussia leads the way!

United by Borussia!

Borussia leads the way!

Responsibility at BVB:

Our game plan

Sustainable development at BVB



“We’ll keep at it and we’ll do better.”

Dear Reader,

You’re not likely to get a more objective assessment of the past season than the one provided by Edin Terzić. But we all know the emotion, the disappointment, the sweat and tears behind that laconic summary. Think back to that last match day in May and the moment of shock and silence in the stadium after the final whistle. Not because of the pain of missing out on the title, but because of the unrivalled solidarity that the BVB family had once again shown on the pitch, in the stands, across the city and far beyond. “Today’s pain is what will motivate us tomorrow.” Celebrating victory together and standing shoulder-to-shoulder in defeat: that’s the true BVB way.

It is not at all easy to sum up this season as a whole. On the pitch, the Bundesliga was more exciting than ever. The title race, qualifying for Europe, the comedown – a nail-biter right down to the last minute. BVB was right there shaping events, and yet after daring to dream we let the title slip through our grasp.

We have clear momentum to carry us forward, with a team of young, hungry and exceptionally talented players who have outstanding potential. The team brushed off setbacks throughout the season and showed they could deliver a stellar performance. We have a sports management team who embody the utmost skill and passion, and our professional staff are behind them all the way. And then there are our fans, who are unrivalled in their loyalty and belief in the club. We will all be rewarded for the moments of suffering we have shared. We are convinced of that and will give it our all to make sure we do.

We have to look to the future. There’s work to be done. The myriad challenges across the various competitions will not diminish, and the range of tasks we face is formidable.

The sporting team under Sebastian Kehl and Edin Terzić is a badge of continuity, but departures such as those of Jude Bellingham or Raphaël Guerreiro require new solutions. There is also an exciting pool of young talent with a bright future ahead of them – just look at the fantastic season the U19s have enjoyed and the “BVB block” in the U17 DFB selections. Last but by no means least are the U23s. Here in the third division, BVB offers exceptional development opportunities and a springboard into professional football for ambitious young players fresh out of the youth game who are not yet ready for the challenges of a Champions League side. The two women’s teams also chalked up an encouraging performance, both sailing comfortably to where they wanted to be in terms of promotion. The U17 girls’ team newly formed for the 2023/2024 season rounds out the progress made developing women’s football at BVB.

In the economic context, looking to the future means taking into consideration the crises of the recent past and those we’re still grappling with. The financial hit that professional football took during the COVID-19 pandemic is still very much being felt, and the economic viability of league competitions is the key focus for a strong BVB. And it is not enough to sit back and complain about glaring inequalities: to remain competitive, our international marketing activities have to leverage the unique opportunities offered by our highly emotive product. Staying true to BVB’s values is indispensable for our credibility and the close relationship we enjoy with our fans. With this in mind, the BVB family works together in constant dialogue via a variety of formats – something we experienced again in the process of formulating the statement of core values for Ballspielverein Borussia 09 e. V. Dortmund.

In a difficult social environment, we remain optimistic because we know that football has helped overcome so many crises and has emerged from them even stronger. Looking to digital and virtual processes and artificial intelligence, we are also convinced that the unrivalled excitement of being fully immersed in a shared football experience is far from having unlocked its full potential. Football will and should remain a genuine experience.

And that involves acting responsibly. Our unwavering commitment to social progress without discrimination and our work to combat anti-Semitism and racism are recognised and have an impact that reaches far beyond our fan community. The dialogue this involves is an intense and enriching experience. BVB, its fans, employees and partners represent a strong social force that stands up to divisive tendencies.

We have also taken up the challenge as we strive to achieve ecological goals. In football, we should not use our appeal to moralise. Instead, we need to take a practical and hands-on approach to inspire people and give future generations the opportunity to enjoy football unhindered. To that end we have renewed our commitment to the UN Global Compact and are working towards an ISO 14001-certified environmental management system. We will make structured and targeted efforts to limit the adverse impact we have on the environment, and the new structures and resources established for this purpose are setting new energy and emissions standards for the club.

BVB has a bright future ahead of it and we take great pleasure in working with our exceptionally committed employees as we strive to make that a reality. This report addresses the progress we continued to make in the past season, and the same applies to the coming financial year: we’ll keep at it and we’ll do better.

We hope you enjoy reading this report.

Signature Hans-Joachim Watzke

Hans-Joachim Watzke
Managing Director (Chairman)

Signature Thomas Treß

Thomas Treß
Managing Director

Signature Carsten Cramer

Carsten Cramer
Managing Director

Our stakeholder dialogue

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 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 gain new momentum 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 and vendors, who are often one and the same on account of their contractual relationship with us. These groups also include 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.

Our core stakeholder groups


Structured dialogue

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. Three further substantive aspects are particularly significant to us in the context of sustainability: leveraging our appeal to raise awareness and exert influence, cooperating with others to develop and refine standards and conditions for our business together, and forming partnerships to implement projects and innovative approaches.

Our highly-rated service hotline plays a particularly important role in this regard.

With the Fan Delegates’ Meeting, which was held in person for all official BVB fan clubs on 30 August 2022, and the Fan Council, which met every seven times during the reporting period, we have institutionalised the communication with our various fan groups. The four Fan Council working groups met three times during the season to discuss merchandising, digital topics, ticketing and match day organisation. We also hosted four fan day events during the reporting period covering specific fan-relevant content.

Our press conferences were again held as 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. BVB’s second education fair held at the training ground in Dortmund-Brackel was a fantastic opportunity to communicate with young fans. School groups are regularly invited to the BVB Learning Centre to learn about socially relevant issues, and each year tens of thousands of fans make active use of the opportunity to interact directly on stadium tours.

For the first time, the BVB Evonik Football Academy hosted a meeting of Germany’s Bundesliga football academies. More than 80 guests representing a total of 34 Bundesliga clubs came together at SIGNAL IDUNA PARK for a fascinating exchange of ideas and information.

The second BVB sustainability round table with partners and sponsors was held in June 2023, and featured a lively dialogue in which participants shared their experiences and expectations. One specific topic of discussion was the issue of fan mobility. The sustainability aspects of the new DFL licensing conditions also triggered in-depth discussions between the responsible staff at various professional football clubs. This generates synergies and ensures efficient progress.

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

In organising match-day operations, 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 institutions. We are in close contact with our vendors to discuss expectations, existing processes and possibilities, especially in connection with the German Supply Chain Due Diligence Act (Lieferkettensorgfaltspflichtengesetz, “LkSG”).

Network meeting FBA



Our material topics

BVB uses the GRI Standards for its sustainability reporting. From the 2021/2022 reporting period onward, the Sustainability Report has been prepared on the basis of the underlying GRI Universal Standards, which were revised in autumn 2021. The material topics were reviewed in the spring of 2023.


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, provided this is crucial for understanding BVB’s financial position. These statutory disclosures are presented in this Sustainability Report, which includes the “Separate non-financial Group report” (see reference in margin).

Process pursuant to Universal Standard: GRI 3 2021

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 social 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.

Selection of potential impacts

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 significance to BVB and its stakeholders, such as the DFL licensing requirements from 2023/2024
  • Central values, guidelines, strategies, company management systems, objectives and requirements
  • 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
  • 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 economic, 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 impacts 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 material impacts are thus taken into account in BVB’s sustainability management. The assessment of the significance of the impacts and their prioritisation resulted in terms and classifications being defined: The substantive classifications were changed as follows compared to the prior-year report:

Since the material topic “Occupational health and safety” concerns aspects relating to employees as well as aspects relating to professional sport, in consultation with the responsible departments it was decided as part of the annual review that this material topic would be allocated to the two material topics “Responsible employer” and “Peak performance” for a clearer understanding the aspects covered by it.

15 material topics in 5 focal points of our work

As a result of the aforementioned process, 15 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.

15 material topics in 5 focal points of our work

Outlook for the European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS)

We will factor in the ESRS requirements to assess the dimensions of “impact materiality” and “financial materiality” as part of the planned update to the materiality analysis in the first half of 2024.



Sustainable development

Sustainable development

Sustainable development


Statement of the management on sustainable development and the UN Global Compact

The UN Global Compact (UNGC) is the United Nations’ voluntary business initiative for sustainable and responsible corporate governance. Borussia Dortmund joined the United Nations Global Compact in the 2021/2022 season – the first Bundesliga club and only the second European football club to do so. By publishing this Communication on Progress (CoP), we are meeting our annual reporting and transparency obligations associated with extending our commitment to the UN Global Compact.

BVB 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 Global 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 aim to make the best use of current and future growth opportunities, taking a long-term and forward-looking approach in both sporting and financial terms. Borussia Dortmund pursues the strategic objective of positioning itself as a modern football company for the long term and remaining in the top flight of the Bundesliga. All of Borussia Dortmund’s actions are based on the objective of maximising sporting success without incurring new debt. In line with this objective, we are constantly striving through professional rights marketing to sustainably increase revenue and business results, and thus also the value of the company.

The current strategy includes sustainably adjusting athletic prospects and an increased focus on promoting youth football. It involves our fans, optimises use of the Borussia Dortmund brand, gradually improves the financial structures and fosters sustainable communication with the capital markets. We are well aware of the care required in implementing our strategy and realising our responsibility to our fans, shareholders, business partners and many other stakeholders – as well as towards society. This applies to both the development of the company and the procurement of goods and products as well as our services.

Our actions are primarily guided by the principles of the UN Global Compact. Respecting human rights, complying with labour standards and fighting corruption are of specific importance in our upstream value chains. The code of conduct for our staff, which was updated in the reporting period, is a practical contribution to increased security in our daily work.

Borussia Dortmund respects human rights and does not tolerate any discrimination, marginalisation or unfair treatment based on gender, disability, ethnic or cultural background, religion, belief system, age or sexual orientation. We comply with fundamental and international labour standards and promote freedom of association, elimination of forced and child labour, and a working environment that is free from discrimination. Through our code of conduct, we and our employees commit to respecting human rights and the applicable laws, to not participating in human rights violations, and to actively promoting awareness of human rights issues. We have made considerable progress in structurally recording and evaluating reports of all forms of discrimination.

Conservation of natural resources, environmental protection and climate action are core social responsibility issues, and therefore also a key focal area of the BVB strategy. We are in dialogue with partners and sponsors on joint courses of action with the aim of reducing damage to the environment. In this way, we are attempting to make environmentally-friendly mindsets and behaviour more widespread in football and in society as a whole. In Corporate Responsibility, we reinforced our work, continually professionalised the department and added new staff during the reporting period. We are working on implementing an environmental management system in line with ISO 14001, with the aim of undergoing an external audit and certification in 2024.

Signature Hans-Joachim Watzke

Hans-Joachim Watzke
Chairman of the Management

Signature Thomas Treß

Thomas Treß
Managing Director

Signature Carsten Cramer

Carsten Cramer
Managing Director

The ten principles of the UNGC

The ten principles of the UNGC


    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.


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


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


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


Structural further development

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, a holistic approach that spans every area will be required 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. Borussia Dortmund took the following action for continued organisational development during the reporting period.

The Corporate Responsibility department, headed by Marieke Köhler, was assigned as a functional area to managing directors Thomas Treß and Carsten Cramer, with the aim of ensuring compliance with the increasing reporting requirements, as well as systematically developing the issues in cross-departmental dialogue throughout the organisation.

The central role of Corporate Responsibility is coordinating the development activities for the key issues in cooperation with the responsible departments. It is also responsible for non-financial reporting in compliance with the applicable standards and for environmental management pursuant to ISO 14001, which is still being established. A new staff position has been created to establish the environmental management system, and make the relevant submissions to the DFL licensing procedure. The CR department remains responsible for managing BVB’s “leuchte auf” foundation and Borussia Dortmund’s work to combat discrimination.

The latter is coordinated by external expert Daniel Lörcher. There are close links with the new Energy Manager function in Organisation as regards energy and emissions, and with Compliance, HR and Merchandising as regards human rights and labour law requirements in particular, as well as due diligence in the upstream value chain. The department now comprises seven employees.

BVB Team Corporate Responsibility

BVB Team Corporate Responsibility

DFL licensing procedure

Germany’s 1st and 2nd Bundesliga divisions are 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 to take action and promote development.

BVB supports this approach. Accordingly, we presented the club’s progress with regard to the individual criteria in the previous report by flagging the respective text passages appropriately.

“Rising up to meet global social, ecological and economic challenges and actively contributing to a sustainable future is the responsibility of everyone, and that includes Borussia Dortmund.”

Thomas Treß, Managing Director at Borussia Dortmund

Sustainability strategy


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 sustainable development


“We only have one planet in which we can play football.”

That’s how Hans-Joachim Watzke summarised the importance of achieving a more sustainable future.

One aspect of our mission in the context of sustainability is compliance with our five sustainability principles that guide our decisions for the future and our day-to-day actions. A key element is our contributions to achieving the Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs), which are an important benchmark for our holistic approach. Limiting the temperature increase to 1.5° to curb climate change is a crucial aspect.

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.


Defining objectives and contributing to the Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs)

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”, “Climate action”, “Peace, justice and strong institutions” and “Partnerships for the goals”.

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 the five defined focal points of our work. In our opinion, linking the material topics 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 below 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.

Contributions across five focal points of our work

Focus and priorities: Our match-winners

“Improving our environmental footprint is at the core of our sustainability strategy.”

Carsten Cramer, Managing Director at Borussia Dortmund

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. These include mobility, SIGNAL IDUNA PARK and our other properties, merchandising, our numerous events and environmental awareness programmes. In this context, we have launched five long-term, overarching projects that we have dubbed “match-winners”, which we are systematically pursuing as part of our ambitious development agenda:

Our five matchwinner projects


News about the five focal points of our work