In this month’s Green Leader Q&A we speak to Mia Froger, Head of Sustainability at Øya Festival, a 20,000 capacity event in Oslo, Norway with 20 years history of working with environmental actions. Mia’s job is to set sustainability targets and make sure the organization achieves them. She has a passion for regenerative food production and has written three books about sustainable food, so the festival food strategy at Oya is a strong focus.
Oya Festival recently featured in the Future Festival Tools Green Festival Stories for phasing out diesel generators by connecting to the grid read the case study.
1. What is the proudest sustainability achievement or moment of your career?
Emissions from food down with 40% in one year due to offering less meat.
2. What was your worst ever sustainability-related decision, project or initiative and why?
Sounds boring and untrue, but I think all decisions, projects and initiatives takes us in the right direction, some way or another.
3. What are you excited about implementing this year?
I am excited about our soon-to-be finished new sustainability strategy, that broadens our perspective and work!
4. Which environmental issue do you most care about?
Regenerative food production.
5. What sustainable change have you made in your personal life that you are most proud of?
No meat and dairy, lots of reuse and no air travel for holidays.
6. What do you read to stay in touch with green issues?
Newsletters from research organisations, podcasts and books!
7. What is the most memorable live performance in your life?
Oh! It’s hard to choose just one. Arcade Fire at a small Oslo Club named Garage in 2005, The Knife at Øyafestivalen in 2007, Nils Bech in the Norwegian Opera House 2017, and Grace Jones at Øyafestivalen in 2016 is high up there.
8. Was there a moment you committed to taking action on climate change?
COP 21 in 2015 was an accelerating factor, after caring for environmentalism for years.
9. What are the most important issues to tackle at your event?
Food and transport (production, vendors and artists).
10. What do you think is the most significant challenge for the events industry becoming more sustainable?
Lack of governmental infrastructure, legislation, and support. Goals established in the organization is key.
11. Can you share something sustainable from another artist or event or company that inspired you to make a change?
Björk has inspired me for years, and no one makes veganism look cooler than Lizzo.
12. What is the secret to your sustainable success?
No secrets, just commitment and determination, I believe!
13. Tell us something you feel positive about right now that relates to the environment
The fact that it has become a general topic for most people, even if not all agree. Just to get it on the agenda is key.
14. Tell us a book, film or recent article you feel others should watch/read and why about positive change?
Professor Karen O’Brien – You matter more than you think. Enlightening and encouraging.
15. Can you give people new to sustainability in events a top tip?
Know your numbers! Measuring is the way to correct actions.
16. What is the favourite festival moment of your career?
When the audience uses our reusable glasses with their phones for lanterns during a night show.
17. What habit or practice has helped you most in your personal journey in life?
To keep insisting that everything we do, matters in the bigger picture.
18. Will we save the world?
We have to, don’t we?
19. What would your sustainable superpower be?
Creating carbon capturing magic dust out of waste!
Follow Mia on Linkedin
Find out more about Oya Festival
This Q&A originally appeared in our July 2023 Vision: 2025 newsletter. Sign up to receive monthly event sustainability news, case studies and guest blogs direct to your inbox.