Corporate reputation and shareholder value are more important than the environment when it comes to setting risk assessment policies, a survey has shown.

The survey, conducted by Lloyd's of risk managers at the Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS) conference in Atlanta, showed that 52% of 200 respondents ranked corporate reputation at a one in a scale of one to seven. Shareholder value received a one from 45% of respondents.

Preventing environmental damage ranked as the least significant criterion for risk assessment, with only 26% or respondents giving it a score of four. The respondents said traditional insurance products were available to cover 70% to 90% of their risks and most expected this to increase over the coming two years.

Lloyd's America president Wendy Baker said the risk of reputation as a major risk seemed to be linked to the new e-economy. “For the current generation of dotcoms and e-businesses, the only major asset they have is their reputation,” she said.

“One major reputational crisis can torpedo a dotcom very quickly.”

Baker also noted the low ratings of environmental issues.

“One can only hope risk managers are not simply putting their heads in the sand, but have managed these risks.”