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Nihon Chiko, a 56-year-old company based in Saitama prefecture, is best known for providing stabilising equipment for telephone cables, street lights and road signs. But it is also responsible for the “vertical gardens” that grace the new Marunouchi Park Building in Tokyo. The move into greenery – which now accounts for €3m, or 5 per cent (and growing) of Nihon Chiko’s business – came 15 years ago when the company adapted its technology to anchor trees that were brought in to beautify urban developments. Five years ago they started looking at…

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