About KudosAfrica

KudosAfrica is a sustainability rating and services provider focused on African businesses.

Our goal is to direct investment capital toward responsible and sustainable African enterprises by encouraging companies to improve their ESG performance.

With a keen focus on time and cost - we have developed a unique and practical rating methodology, incorporating international best practice in the assessment of sustainability.

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Meet the Team

Louise Gardiner - Director, Operations & Service - Cape Town, South Africa

Louise Gardiner is co-founder and director at KudosAfrica. Louise has 17 years of international experience in environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards for businesses and the financial sector.

Since 2005, she has undertaken extensive work for IFC (International Finance Corporation), part of the World Bank Group, on projects supporting private and public sector initiatives to promote sustainability disclosure, green finance and responsible investment in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Through the ASISA Academy (Association for Savings and Investment in South Africa), she currently delivers a 1-day training to South African pension fund trustees on responsible investing.

Carl Reynolds - Co-founder, Director - Cape Town, South Africa

Carl has a long track record of launching innovative and developmental business-to-business communication platforms.

He is an entrepreneur who believes in the power of commerce to achieve the goals of a sustainable society.

He founded the Small Enterprise Development in Construction platform, SEDIC, which focuses on the construction industry in Southern Africa. He also created The Score, a unique networking and distribution platform for the African music industry, in 2006, which is currently expanding throughout Africa. Carl was also a founding member of ‘Sustain Our Africa’, a collaborative platform for the communication needs of sustainability professionals across Africa.

Mike Davis – ESG Analyst - Cape Town, South Africa

Mike is an experienced responsible investment consultant and ESG analyst. He is currently one of the KudosAfrica trainers providing trustees with the necessary skills to fulfil their fiduciary duty with respect to responsible investment, through the ASISA Academy (Association for Savings and Investment in South Africa).

Mike also specialises in political risk analysis. He has briefed numerous FTSE100 and S&P500 firms and financial sector clients, including asset managers and international financial institutions, on the risks and opportunities of investing sustainably and responsibly in sub-Saharan Africa.

Before returning to South Africa in 2012, Mike worked for three of the top political and global risk consultancies in the United Kingdom.

Greer Blizzard - Communications, Collaboration & Research - Cape Town, South Africa

Greer is an experienced project manager with over 15 years of marketing, communications and event management experience, which she uses to raise awareness, educate and drive social and business change and responsibility.

She is experienced in working in the SME sector focusing on the implementation of governance principles and frameworks to improve business performance and increase company value. Greer has extensive corporate social investment (CSI) and fundraising experience and is passionate about stakeholder engagement.

She is skilled in the design and delivery of sustainability training to SMEs and helping businesses contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) goals and targets.

She is currently doing a Post-Graduate Degree in Sustainable Development at the Sustainability Institute, Stellenbosch University.

Koen van Noorden - Rating Tool & Verification - Cape Town, South Africa

Koen is a sustainability consultant with more than 9 years of experience in the new construction and existing building sector, having worked with South Africa’s biggest property developers, banking and retail institutions on the greening of their existing building portfolio as well as their new construction.

Koen worked as sustainability and Green Star consultant on the first Green Star certified buildings in South Africa with WSP Green by Design and on the first LEED EBOM and NC certified buildings at Ecocentric.

He holds graduate and post-graduate degrees in Technology and innovation sciences for sustainability and mechanical engineering (Technical University Eindhoven, Fontys University of Applied Sciences, Eindhoven) from the Netherlands.

Candice Pelser - Non-Executive Director -Nairobi, Kenya

Candice is a systems thinker, business strategist and problem solver. A blend of pragmatic and idealistic, she loves bringing people together to tackle tough issues.

Candice managed the first gourmet coffee stores in South Africa; has been a software consultant and business analyst; has advised non-profits in energy and climate change, and co-founded a strategic business consulting company called Further.

Candice has since found her niche supporting companies with blended value propositions to successfully cross the investment table. She is passionate about the potential these enterprises have to achieve environmental and social resilience.

After attempting to tailor her own retirement annuity towards social and environmental goals, Candice was surprised to discover the barriers that prevent ordinary South Africans from 'voting for good' with their retirement decisions. Excited to be working with 'metrics that matter', Candice has joined KudosAfrica to help establish a more thriving environment for impact investment and the desired impact itself.

Manuel Spigno - Kudos Africa
Manuel Spigno – Analyst - Cape Town, South Africa

Newest addition to the team, Manuel is an Honors student at Rotterdam Business School.

He is acquiring first-hand experience in the ESG world, helping KudosAfrica unlock business potential in Africa by formulating a strategy to attract European investors and partners.

Manuel is a team player, with experience in different fields such as tourism and hospitality, dynamic, with a passion for other cultures and languages, sports and the circular economy.

Gillette Conner - Kudos Africa
Gillette Conner - Associate

Gillette has 25 years of expertise in the design and management of effective international development, strategic social investment, and impact investing initiatives.

With deep expertise in health - and a particular focus on HIV/AIDS and women’s health - Gillette has extensive experience in facilitating and supporting community and stakeholder engagement and building organizational capacity to achieve better development outcomes.

She has worked across multiple sectors including financial services, agriculture, oil and gas, mining, light manufacturing and the hospitality industries, with companies across sub-Saharan Africa, the Russian Federation, the Caribbean and the Pacific Islands.

Gillette is passionate about the potential for impact investors to unlock business innovation in sustainable development.

Dave Baxter - Kudos Africa
Dave Baxter - Associate

With an undergraduate degree in Chemistry and a Masters in Molecular Engineering, Dave spent the first 11 years of his career in retail, culminating in a successful stint as planning manager of Kidswear at Woolworths. He then followed his passion for the environment and studied Sustainable Development and Planning at the Sustainability Institute in Stellenbosch. He graduated with a BPhil. in Sustainable Development with cum laude and began a new career journey.

During his work in the sustainability space both as an employee and as an independent operator, Dave has written (and co-written) several sustainability reports; analysed large research datasets, which informed the design of infographics. He has worked closely with the National Business Initiative on the CDP Climate and CDP Water programmes as well as various listed JSE companies and other consultancies on various facets of sustainability.

Latterly, his interest has been piqued by context-based sustainability and the role it plays in corporate strategy, materiality assessments, ESG reporting and stakeholder dialogue. To this end, Dave aims to train as a Dialogue Guide with MIT in Boston, MA during 2017. Once certified, he aims to use dialogue as a means for companies to repair fragmentation both within the factory walls and with external stakeholders.

Dave loves (in no particular order): Surfing, Messing about with his kids and family, Mountain biking, Travelling and Reading. He is a self-confessed lover of Africa.